Friday, October 18, 2019

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The Gary Edinger Story: One Man Shares His Story of Strength for Survival


Gary Edinger, a Native to Northern Wisconsin decided one bitterly cold morning in February of 2007. That morning held much more in store for him then just getting into the woods he loved dearly. This is a short video of how that morning events unfolded and took “One Man’s” already incredible journey to even higher heights then he could’ve imagined. This is his story of how he cut his leg off during a logging accident and how his will to survive got him out of the woods and back onto living the rest of his life.

Savory Venison Chili

Savory Venison Chili

The days are getting Colder! What better way to warm up those chilled hunters than to sit them down to a steaming hot bowl of Savory Venison Chili.

Here is an awesome recipe for Savory Venison Chili. What makes this recipe amazing is other game meats such as Elk, Wild Boar or most any other hardy wild game meat can be substituted.

Savory Venison Chili

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: About 1 Hour 30 Min.


Sauce Mix:

  •    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •     1 red onion, chopped
  •     4 cloves garlic, minced
  •     4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  •     3 cups red wine
  •     4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  •     4 tablespoons tomato paste
  •     4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  •     1 teaspoon ground cumin

Venison Mixture:

  •     1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •     1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  •     2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  •     salt to taste
  •     4 tablespoons canola oil
  •     10 slices cooked bacon, diced
  •     2 pounds venison stew meat, trimmed and finely diced
  •     2 cups black beans, cooked and drained


Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Making the Sauce:

  • Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat.
  • Stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and sauté for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  • Then stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste, chicken stock, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cilantro and salt.
  • Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced by about half.

Cooking the Venison Mixture:

  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy skillet or  large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in the bacon and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bacon is browned.
  • Move the bacon to one side of the skillet and add the venison to the empty side of the skillet.
  • Season the meat with salt to taste and sauté the meat for 15 minutes, or until well browned on all sides.
  • Add the beans mixing all ingredients together well.
  • Now transfer this mixture to the large simmer pot or Dutch Oven.
  • Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and let simmer for about 20 more minutes.

Finishing Touches:

Serve over
  • Hot Corn Bread
  • buttered Noodles
  • Or with Buttered bread



Wisconsin Youth Deer Hunt is This Weekend

Wisconsin Youth Deer Hunt is This Weekend

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to remind all participants of this weekend’s popular youth hunt for deer to review and to know the safety rules of this annual event.

The youth hunt held Oct. 5-6 is only open to persons 15 years and younger who have a gun deer license to hunt with a gun or other legal weapon before the regular firearm seasons.

The youth hunt is open to all residents and non-resident youth hunters with a gun-deer license and appropriate tags.

Be Sure to Participate in the Official First Deer Program

As in previous years, those new to hunting can celebrate their first harvest with the official first deer or first hunt certificate.

Follow the instructions on the page to upload a photo of your first deer and describe the experience. For more information, and to create a first deer certificate, search keywords “first deer certificate.”

“Many youths are busy with school work and extracurriculars,” said Chief Warden Todd Schaller. “The youth hunt was designed to provide an additional opportunity outside the traditional deer seasons. It’s an opportunity to spend time outdoors observing nature, spend time with family and friends, and to slow down and breathe, yes and, hopefully, harvest a deer.”

Know the Rules

  • Youth hunters may hunt in all Deer Management Units except state park and non-quota units.
  • A gun deer hunting license is required if hunting with a firearm.
  • The bag limit is one buck per gun buck deer harvest authorization, plus one additional antlerless deer per antlerless deer harvest authorization valid for the Deer Management Unit the youth hunter will be hunting.
  • Youth hunters who possess an archer or crossbow license may continue to hunt with a bow or crossbow during the archery/crossbow season, which runs concurrently with the youth gun deer hunt. All other hunting regulations apply.

Here are more highlights of the rules:

  • Blaze orange is required for all hunters statewide, except for waterfowl hunters. The blaze orange requirement includes archery hunters and small game hunters
  • Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult guardian – even if the youth is 14 or 15 years old and has a hunter education certificate.
  • One adult may not accompany more than two youths at the same time. Accompany means within visual and voice contact without the aid of any amplifying device – other than a hearing aid.
  • Hunting mentorship rules apply to all youths who are age 11 and younger – as well as to any youth who have not completed a hunter education certification.
    Learn more about youth hunts on the DNR website, where hunters can also review regulations.

Hunting Morels: A Favorite (and tasty) Springtime Tradition

Hunting for Morel Mushrooms in spring in early May in northern Michigan Forest | Outdoor Newspaper

It was early May, and a certain spring activity was on my mind – looking for some tasty morel mushrooms in the beautiful hardwood forests of northern Lower Michigan.

As that Friday’s work shift was drawing to a close, I thought about places on state-managed land that I might find a new “honey hole” – a spot covered with morels.

A new weekend adventure would soon be at hand, and an amazing forest with rolling hills awaited. We are quite fortunate here in Michigan, having over 4.6 million acres of state land to explore.

The next morning, I grabbed my compass, jackknife and mesh bags and then headed for the woods. That hunting spot I had in mind turned out to need one more warm rain, so no mushrooms had popped up that night. I did find a nice deer run, however.
Truth be told, every morel hunt is ultimately a success, as you always find plenty of fresh air and sunshine in Michigan’s great outdoors.

Aiding the hunt

The key to putting me in the right area was an interactive map application maintained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources called Mi-HUNT ( I learned about Mi-HUNT through my work at the DNR’s customer service center in Gaylord, and I often recommend it to our customers. This mapping tool delivers a wealth of information right to your computer or mobile device

When looking for morel mushrooms, I often target hilly areas covered in hardwoods, along with burn scars from recent forest fires. Mi-HUNT provides customized maps of state-managed land, showing ash and other upland deciduous tree cover types. Mi-HUNT has topographic maps and maps that show what types of trees are on state-managed land, as well as aerial photography for any area you zoom in on. You can discover more Department of Natural Resources information to help you target and enjoy morel mushrooms at Mi-MORELS (

The Mi-HUNT tool lets users include or exclude layers of information on the maps they view. These layers include recreational facilities, trails, hunting lands, cover types, township, range and sections.

Morel Mushroom gathering, Windsor Twp. Eaton Co. Mi. | Outdoor Newspaper
A young boy bags a bunch of Michigan morel mushrooms.

Base maps include 7.5-minute topographic quadrangles and aerial photos depicting leaf-off conditions from 1998, provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, and 2009 leaf-on images from the National Aerial Imagery Program. To help a user’s research, a guide on the left side of the Mi-HUNT page indicates how densely wooded a place will be, indicated by numerical value, and what type of trees dominate the area, shown with a color. Mi-HUNT maps also show contour lines to help users find the hills and other elevation highs and lows. From viewing the Mi-HUNT map screen, I was able to locate hillsides with ash and other hardwoods.

A Morel Primer

If you have never tried morel mushrooms, you might want to explore their culinary power. Some people describe them as nutty, some say meaty – but most agree the morel truly is unique

They can be added to many dishes, sauteed in butter and onions, or fried. You will be rewarded with a great dish to share with family and friends, from Michigan’s natural wild bounty.

If you have never collected morels before, here are some tips for the first-timer:
Remember to bring your compass or GPS unit, and plan a route that will bring you back to your vehicle. Remember to let someone know where you will be that day – let’s call that filing your “mushroomer plan” for safety.

Always cut or pinch the mushrooms off at ground level, to protect the lower portion of the fungus and ensure mushroom regrowth in future years. Pulling them out can do permanent damage. This is where a jackknife comes in handy.

For that same reason, and to maintain a good nourishing layer of leaf litter, you should never rake an area for morels or drive an off-road vehicle cross country. For more information on using ORVs in Michigan, you can visit Using a mesh bag (such as an onion bag) will allow your collected morels to stay drier, versus using a paper or plastic bag.

Motels Ready to Fry - Photo Michigan DNR | Outdoor Newspaper
Morels ready for frying

Most important of all – know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms which are poisonous. Try to work with an experienced morel mushroom hunter. In addition, there is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. Note that the true morels are hollow when sliced open lengthwise, and that the bottom edges of their caps are attached to the stem.
More Mi-HUNT help

Are you new to using interactive maps, or are you new to Michigan? Mi-HUNT is ready to help you plan all kinds of outings.

The Mi-HUNT webpage has video tutorials to help users quickly get up to speed on using the application, whether they are mobile users or using a desktop or laptop computer.

The webpage also provides useful links to other information on wildlife viewing, public hunting land maps, game areas, waterfowl hunting, and downloadable geographic data. For those looking to improve their chances while on the hunt, be it for morels, deer, fish, camping, hiking and more, a good place to start is Mi-HUNT.

Let this application help make your expedition for morels memorable, just like it helped me with my hunt.

Hunters Safety for Man’s Best Friend-Hunting With Your Bird Dog

Golden Retriever Hunting Dog Retrieving Duck in Water | Outdoor Newspaper

As dog owners it is our job to keep our canine companions safe. There is possibly no harder time or place to do this than when hunting.

There are so many things that can go wrong when a bird dogs is at work in the field retrieving a downed bird. Whether you are hunting the great Canada Goose, teal, ducks or pheasants there are many hazards in the field that one might not even think of.

Here are a few of the possible dangers a bird dog may encounter while on a hunting trip.


Weather conditions can change quickly, often even during a single hunt. Early morning may be cool and crisp, by mid-morning it may be hot and sunny. If hunting in the late fall to early winter in areas where things get frigid be sure of the water conditions before you send or allow your faithful friend to venture in to retrieve that duck.

Ice- and Ice-cold water:

Icy water can be very dangerous to a dog.  Not only the cold temperatures of the water but the speed and depth are both factors. Cold is going to take a lot of the dog’s energy. If hunting over a river the current may be very fast, and the dog may be pulled out into deeper water where the temperature overtakes them.

Ice is extremely dangerous. Dogs can not only fall through the ice but if that ice is on a river or even a slough they can be pulled under by the current and drown before you are able to get to them.

Be sure of ice conditions. Avoid shooting waterfowl over areas it is not safe for you to send your dog. If you aren’t safe, they are not safe either.

Not having enough fresh water to drink

  • Bring water for yourself and your dog both.
  • A collapsible drinking dish for your dog

Hydration is very important. A hard working bird dog can easily become dehydrated. If you think you have enough, bring more. ( I will talk more in-depth about this later.)

Tell someone where you will be hunting:

Just as with any kind of hunting always let friends or family know what area you will be hunting in. No matter how seasoned of a hunter you may be, problems can occur.

Know where to find Emergency help if needed:

If you have never hunted in the area before find out where all the local Veterinarian offices are, and the hours they are open. It would not hurt to know where the Veterinarian hospitals are in case of emergencies. Write the numbers down or save them to your phone.

Go out and scout the area before the first hunt. This may mean arriving a day early but it is well worth the time considering not doing this could mean you come back minus your trusted companion.

 Know what insects are in the area:

  • mosquitoes
  • ticks
  • fleas
  • crickets.

This may seem unimportant, but these common pests can cause serious problems for your bird dog if they do not have the proper vaccinations for the area.


What large animals are in the area:

  • bear
  • coyoteCoyotes Can be Dangerous - Outdoor Newspaper
  • wolves
  • bobcats
  • moose
  • elk
  • deer

These can be hazardous to even the best trained bird dog. Coming across any other animal such as a bear with young or Elk, Moose or White-tail or Mule Deer during the rut can be dangerous as these normally peaceful animals may attack.



Copperhead Snakes Can be Dangerous to Bird Dogs and Hunters. - Outdoor Newspaper
Copperhead Snakes Can be Dangerous to Bird Dogs and Hunters. – Outdoor Newspaper

Venomous snakes

  • Rattlesnakes
  • Cottonmouth
  • Water Moccasins

Snake bites can be deadly to dogs as well as humans. They may be a bit slower to move out of your way when you and your bird dog are out during the Early Canada Goose season so better to be safe than sorry.


Remember that there are many plants that can also cause grave damage to bird dogs.

Some examples are:

  • Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Causes an Itchy Rash and Blisters | Outdoor Newspaper
    Poison Ivy Causes an Itchy Rash and Blisters | Outdoor Newspaper
  • Poison Oak
  • Poison Sumac

These three plants cause problems because they contain urushiol, this is an oily sap which will cling to the skin or hair of anything passing through it. Dogs can not only get the itchy rash and blisters on the tender areas of their stomachs and inner legs but when you pet them it will be transferred to you as well.

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria):

The results of a dog ingesting water containing Blue-green algae should be enough to scare you into bringing enough water for 5 dogs. This is nothing to fool around with. Water is usually contaminated during hot dry weather. Contaminated water will have a “pea soup” like appearance. Toxic blue-green algae contains liver toxins, neurotoxins or both.

The signs of poisoning are instant! Unfortunately, the results are as well.

Symptoms of poisoning may include:

  • weakness
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • jaundice (yellow skin and gums)
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • collapse

Plain and simple this one is deadly and kills many hunting dogs in the US each year. Death from the liver toxin may take several days but the neurotoxin will kill them within minutes Treatment for the liver toxin is often unsuccessful and there is not time to treat the neurotoxin, so prevention is the only cure for this one.

Always, always have plenty of fresh water and offer it to your bird dog often.


Death Cap (amanita-muscaria) One Of The Most Deadly Mushrooms - Outdoor Newspaper
Death Cap (amanita-muscaria) One Of The Most Deadly Mushrooms in the United States – Outdoor Newspaper

Dogs love to eat things, everything. They are not immune to eating things they should not eat. Mushrooms are no exception. Many mushrooms a bird dog may find while out in the field are harmless to them, some can however be extremely toxic. One of the most dangerous mushrooms in the United States not only to dogs but to humans as well is the Death Cap or Amanita phalloides which can be found across the United States. It can be very difficult to properly identify a mushroom. Sometimes even experts have a hard time. Because of this it is best to consider ALL mushrooms toxic.

Do your best to not allow your dog to eat any mushroom.

Symptoms of mushroom poisoning include

  • can vary depending on what kind of mushroom was ingested
  • depression
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • tremors
  • seizures

Ingestion of mushrooms by hunting dogs generally leads to kidney and liver damage the amount of damage to organs is dependent on the toxicity of the mushroom consumed.



Foxtail Barley Seeds Can Cause Pneumonia If Inhaled by Your Bird Dog | Outdoor Newspaper
Foxtail Barley Seeds Can Cause Pneumonia If Inhaled by Your Bird Dog | Outdoor Newspaper
  • Cheat-grass
  • Foxtail Barley
  • Wild Rye

Yes, even grass can be dangerous. These types of grasses have a special kind of seed which is called an, awn. These seeds are sharp and have barbed hairs which point away from the spear end of the seed. Dogs can inhale the seeds of these grasses, when they do the seed heads will work their way through the tissue eventually ending up in the lungs this will cause thoracic cavity trauma and fluid build up in the dogs lungs. If this goes untreated the dog will most likely get pneumonia.

The symptoms are:

  • a sustained low-grade fever
  • ragged breathing

If your bird dog has been exposed to these grasses and exhibits these symptoms get them to a vet and let the vet know what plant or plants you suspect they were exposed to.

Plants and other wildlife are not the only hazards that exist in the field. Here are some other things to keep in mind when you do the pre-hunt scope-out of the land.

Protruding objects:

Sticks, broken trees and anything else that is sticking out of the ground on the shore could cause serious injury or death if a dog lands on it while they are heading out to retrieve a downed bird.

Over feeding:

Do not feed your dog before going on a hunt. When the dog is done for the day that nice big meal will be appreciated and enjoyed.

Food before a hunt can cause the dog to have bloating of the stomach. Some people call this “gut twist”. What happens is the stomach can twist in the abdomen, gas will then build up and cause the food passage in the esophagus to be cut off. This will lead to a large drop in blood pressure and can result in death in as little as an hour if not treated.

The main cause of a twisted stomach is to much food being consumed before strenuous exercise.

Overworking / over-hunting:

Just working the dog to hard can be dangerous or deadly. If the temperatures are high a hard-working bird dog can easily succumb to heat stroke and exhaustion. If you are training young dogs with your older bird dog be sure that you keep in mind that the older dog will tire more quickly and need more breaks than the pups will. Pay attention to conditions and how your bird dog is acting. Heat stroke will kill a dog almost instantly.

So, as you can see much of keeping your dog safe is common sense. Some however is paying attention to the environment that they are hunting in.

In my next article I will outline some basic things that should always be brought alone on a hunt whether it is a few miles away or a few states away.

As hunters we need our bird dogs as partners. These partners need a bit of extra attention to stay safe and enjoy many years of hunting with you. Also, as hunters they are more than just partners, they often become our best friends so lets all take every precaution possible.

Happy Hunting.


Mourning Dove, Early Teal and Early Goose Hunting Seasons Open Sept. 1

Early Canada Goose Season to Open Sept. 1 in WI.
Early Canada Goose Season to Open Sept. 1 in WI.

The wait is almost over to get back out on the marsh. Sept. 1 marks the opener for Wisconsin’s mourning dove, early teal and early Canada goose hunting seasons.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose hunting begins with the early season Sept. 1-15, with a daily bag limit of five geese during this time. This early season targets locally breeding geese with a higher daily bag limit, before the arrival of migrating geese from Canada. During the early goose season, regulations apply statewide, with no zone-specific regulations.


The early teal season will run Sept. 1-9, with a daily bag limit of six teal. Shooting hours for the early teal season are sunrise to sunset (see page 28 in Migratory Bird Regulations). Early teal season hunters are at minimum required to purchase the following licenses and permits:

Sept. 1 Brings Early Teal Hunting to WI

  • Small game license
  • Federal duck stamp
  • State duck stamp
  • HIP registration.




The duck identification quiz found at, keyword “waterfowl,” gives hunters an opportunity to brush up on duck identification before the early season.

While the early teal season is offered statewide, some state-owned properties have special waterfowl hunting limitations. For example, Mead Wildlife Area does not allow waterfowl hunting before the regular duck season, and Lake Mills Wildlife Area (Zeloski Marsh) has unique shooting hour restrictions. Contact a local wildlife biologist or consult the 2019 Migratory Bird Regulations for a list of areas with additional requirements or limitations.

To view a full list of waterfowl hunting seasons and the 2019 Migratory Game Bird Regulations, search keyword “waterfowl.”

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove Season Opens Soon.
Mourning dove perched on a log.

In 2019, the mourning dove hunting season will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 29. This season structure is identical to 2018. The daily bag limit is 15 doves, and possession limits for doves are three times the daily bag limit.

Go Wild

Early and regular goose permits print on regular white paper rather than green thermal paper. While afield, hunters must carry their Canada goose harvest permit. Acceptable methods of proof include a paper copy; department-approved PDF displayed on a mobile device; Wisconsin driver’s license, or Go Wild Conservation Card. As a reminder to Canada goose hunters, registration of Canada geese and in-field validation of the Canada goose hunting permit is no longer required.

For more information regarding Go Wild, visit

Band Reporting

If you find or harvest a banded bird, please report it at [Exit DNR]. You’ll need the band number, or numbers, where, when and how you recovered the bird. Even if the band you recover has a 1-800telephonenumber inscribed on it, you can only report it at [Exit DNR].

Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool

Dove hunters are encouraged to check out the Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool. FFLIGHT helps hunters of all types locate young aspen and alder habitat for grouse and woodcock hunting, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds, and managed dove fields.

FLIGHT also allows users to print maps and find GPS coordinates to assist in navigation and provides measuring tools to help estimate acreage and walking distance. Mobile users can use this tool on-the-go to find suitable habitat for hunting.

For more information, search keyword “FFLIGHT.”

AZ Game and Fish Finds Home for Weeks-old Orphaned Deer Fawn

Arizona Orphaned Deer Fawn | Outdoor Newspaper

Calls for ‘rescued’ animals mount as public is reminded to leave baby wildlife alone

The Arizona Game and Fish Department placed an orphaned three-week old deer fawn with Bearizona on Thursday after its mother was recently struck and killed by a vehicle in the Safford area.

Since the accident, the impressionable young white-tailed deer fawn became dependent on humans for survival and could no longer be released back into the wild. Luckily, the department was able to place the fawn with the 160-acre Bearizona wildlife park in Williams.

“While this was a tragic accident, Game and Fish wildlife managers have noticed an uptick in calls from well-meaning citizens who have removed fawns from the wild,” AZGFD Education Branch Chief Kellie Tharp said. “We understand the public’s desire to help animals such as fawns and other baby wildlife, but in reality, wild animals are rarely abandoned or orphaned. The best thing you can do is to leave baby wildlife alone.”​​​​​​​

The public should contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or their nearest AZGFD office if they encounter an animal that is clearly sick or injured with wounds or broken bones; is unresponsive or lethargic; has been attacked by a cat or dog; or there is strong evidence that the mother is dead.

By removing newborn or juvenile animals from the wild, you’re essentially taking it from its parents, Tharp said. Elk and deer often leave young by themselves for several hours while they forage for food, and when their fawn or calf is not there when they return, will frantically search in vain.

Some species of baby animals, such as elk calves or deer fawns, may even have to be euthanized because they cannot be released back into the wild due to disease concerns. In addition, zoos and other wildlife sanctuaries have limited space to hold them.

Each year wildlife centers around the state are inundated with baby birds, rabbits and other wildlife that were unnecessarily taken from the wild. Typically, once the perceived predator (you, or your cat or dog) leaves the area, one or both parents will return and continue to care for the young.

Baby birds are the most common wildlife species encountered by the public and removed from the wild. Young birds that have fallen from the nest can be placed back in the nest or as close as possible, preferably in an artificial nest. Those birds that are partially flighted should be left alone or in some cases moved nearby out of harm’s way.

Contrary to popular belief, human scent will not prevent the parents from returning to care for their young. Eggs of ground-nesting birds like quail should be left in place when discovered.

Those with questions about a specific situation should contact one of the wildlife rehabilitators listed on the department’s website at or their local Game and Fish office.

Watercraft Registration Fees to Double in Minnesota! Here’s Why!

Watercraft, pontoon, boat tied to a dock on a Minnesota Lake.

Aquatic invasive species are a growing problem in almost every body of water in the United States.
Minnesota is going to do something about it.

For 26 years the fee for registering a watercraft in Minnesota has remained the same, in a measure that has the support of the majority of boating and lake groups the AIS registration surcharge will double in price beginning July 1 of 2019.

It is should be supported by anyone who enjoys any outdoor recreational activity involving water because the increase will have a huge impact on how well Minnesota can work to not only manage the problem of aquatic invasive species but to also work to prevent further spread to uninfected bodies of water.

This measure is highly significant as there has been no fee increase to AIS registration surcharges since 1993, this fact should make the fee change of $5 to $10.60 a bit easier to swallow.

The surcharge will be put into effect when people register a new watercraft or when they renew the registration on watercraft they already own.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has always focused a great deal of time and attention on reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species. The AIS surcharge will assist the Minnesota DNR and it’s partners in not only managing the existing infestations but more importantly to stop or reduce the spread of AIS infections into new bodies of water. The increases will also help prevent new species from getting a stranglehold on any area water bodies.

Controlling AIS infections can be costly. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration.. The DNR needs many tools to keep things under control. AIS inspections are of utmost importance. It is equally important however that they have the funding to investigate areas that may have new infestations of either common AIS or of new ones that have previously not been in the area.

Many management grants have had to be cut due to lack of money, this has the potential to create a huge problem.

The AIS surcharge fee increase will bring in and increase of $880,000.00 per year that can be put toward the Invasive species program run by the DNR for the fiscal years 2020 – 2021. A portion of these funds will be earmarked to get the grants reinstated.

Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan included AIS surcharge increase in their budget package. The Fee was included in this years omnibus environment and natural resources bill and was passed by the Minnesota Legislature.

Heidi Wolf who is the Supervisor of the Invasive Species unit of the Minnesota DNR had this to say about the fee increase:

“We’re grateful to the lake associations, boating groups and many others who supported this long-needed increase,” Heidi  Wolf went on to state: “They are a vital part of the important and effective work Minnesotans are doing to prevent the spread of and manage aquatic invasive species.”

The Minnesota DNR has made laws specifically to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive species.

It is imperative that ALL boaters and anglers follow these laws Every time they take their watercrafts out.

Follow these laws and do your part to keep invasive species under control:

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
  • Drain all of the water by removing drain plugs, keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
Eurasian Milfoil is one of many aquatic invasive species infesting Minnesota waters.


Aquatic Invasive species are not always easy to spot. Most everyone has seen Eurasian Milfoil. It is usually quite obvious when it is present in a pond, or lake it is easy to spot.



Zebra Mussel are very small and could easily be missed if watercraft are not properly cleaned.

Other invasive species are a bit harder to spot. They may be very small and hard to see or be in areas of the watercraft that are difficult to see into. Zebra mussels are quite small and very tiny when they are young.


Smaller yet is the Spiny Water Flea.

Photo Credit: Minnesota DNR. Spiny Water flea, Magnified.

They can live in the water that is not drained from the boat such as live wells, ballast tanks and other places that hold water. They also can attach to rig lines anchors and ropes.



Take one or more of the following precautions before putting the boat in any other body of water. This is especially important if you are taking your watercraft from and area that is known to be infested with an aquatic invasive species.


Always follow these simple steps when transporting a watercraft:

  • Spray with very high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for a minimum of two minutes or at 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

Following these steps will kill or dislodge any Aquatic Invasive Species who may be “hitchhiking” on your watercraft.

The best way to stop the spread of these plants and animals is by following the laws and suggestions given here.

Remember the water is for everyone. We enjoy it let’s be sure our children and grandchildren can enjoy it too.

You can find out more about the many aquatic invasive species that lurk in Minnesota waters and most importantly how to prevent their spread at


Michigan State Parks Campfires, S’mores and Storytellers

Michigan State Park Campfire Storytelling Events


Telling stories around the campfire is a time-honored tradition. Often, those stories contain playful anecdotes and deeply personal memories.

As part of the Michigan state parks centennial, the DNR is hosting storytelling events where you’ll hear seasoned storytellers share their personal park tales.


Side view of a ponytailed African American woman speaking into a microphone, outdoors, with the sun shining behind her. Photo Credit Michigan DNR

At a recent event in Lansing, Alexis Horton, the DNR’s diversity, equity and inclusion officer, engaged the crowd with her memories of introducing a group of students who’d never camped before to the fun and camaraderie of s’mores and time outdoors at Waterloo Recreation Area. Listen to Alexis’s story hereListen to Alexis’s story here.


Just this past weekend, the DNR hosted a campfire storytelling event in Interlochen. If you missed this event don’t worry there are still 3 more that are coming up this summer.

Future Campfire Storytelling events:

  • July 20 at Van Riper State Park (Champion)
  • Aug. 17 at Belle Isle (Detroit)a
  • Sept. 21 at Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Middleville)


These events are more than just listening to spoken stories; they’re a way for people to connect with treasured experiences.

Learn more about the centennial Campfire Storytelling Project at Questions? Contact Maia Turek, 989-225-8573.

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