Another Freeborn County Fair is in the books and as a youth that usually signaled the beginning of the end of summer for me. Once the fair was over I knew that a new school year was on the horizon. Although the end of summer vacation was fast approaching, there was still plenty of summer weather left to enjoy.
I actually feel that August can be one of the better months because the days are warm and the nights cool off nicely. This can be a great time to do some serious bass fishing if you know where to look. This time of year you can usually find bass in heavy cover, especially early morning when they are top-water feeding for insects and frogs. As the day warms they can be found on underwater dropoffs close to weedlines. One technique that I read about years ago was to find open pockets in heavy cover and plunking top-water lures into the open area. Another method is flipping a “pig ‘n jig” or plastic worm into that same area. I have spent many hours on the lake during the “dog days of summer” and I’ve found it a great time to be fishing, although I don’t actually think that there is really a bad time.
Starting with Fountain Lake, there are many good lakes in our area that can offer some very good bass fishing. When you hit the lake early on an August morning you may be greeted with a layer of fog as the cool morning air greets the warmth of the water. As the mist of morning fog touches my face it gives me a peaceful feeling that makes me feel like everything is right with the world.
The Minnesota deer hunting season is already on the minds of many hunters and this year the Minnesota DNR has made changes that it hopes will rebuild the dwindling deer population across many areas of the state. Licenses went on sale Aug. 1st and the Minnesota DNR has issued the following news release pertaining to those changes:
Conservative deer season set
Hunters can expect a conservative 2014 deer season designed to rebuild deer numbers across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.
“Hunters should check the 2014 hunting regulations closely because only one deer can be harvested in 95 percent of the state,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader for the DNR. “To shoot a doe, hunters may have to apply for a permit in areas where they haven’t in the past and, in some places, no antlerless harvest will be allowed.”
In 69 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas. In 38 areas, hunters have the choice of shooting a doe or a buck. Bonus permits allowing hunters to shoot more than one deer may only be used in seven permit areas and for some special hunts.
Northeastern Minnesota hunters will feel the greatest impact from a bucks-only season. In bucks-only areas, no antlerless deer may be harvested by any hunter, including those with archery or youth licenses. McInenly said that most of these areas are now below goal and that this year’s conservative approach is consistent with the DNR’s long-term commitment to manage deer populations at established goal levels.
Hunters can enter the lottery for antlerless permits beginning Friday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Sept. 4. Hunters may apply using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. If hunters are selected for both licenses, they must select the one season in which they want to shoot an antlerless deer.
Deer hunting licenses, lottery applications and special hunt applications are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-665-4236 or online at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/index.html. Lottery winners will be notified in October.
Permit area breakdown
Bucks-only deer areas in 2014 are deer permit areas 108, 117, 118, 119, 122, 126, 127, 169, 176, 177, 178, 180, 181 and 199.
Lottery deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 101, 103, 105, 110, 111, 152, 155, 156, 159, 171, 172, 173, 179, 183, 184, 197, 203, 208, 213, 229, 234, 237, 238, 242, 246, 247, 250, 251, 252, 253, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.
Hunter choice deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 157, 201, 209, 210, 214, 215, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 230, 232, 233, 235, 236, 239, 240, 241, 248, 249, 254, 255, 256, 257, 292, 293, 338, 339, 341, 342, 344, 345, 347 and 348.
Managed deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 114, 287 and 343.
Intensive deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 182, 346 and 349.
The DNR strongly advises hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying.
The DNR strongly advises hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying. Current and up-to-date information is available online. Information about deer management and upcoming deer population goal setting during the next two years is available online.
Until next time; there is still plenty of summer left so take some time to enjoy the great outdoors with a weekend camping trip, do some fishing or just spend a day at one of our areas lakes.
Please take a little time to remember those who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.