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Minnesota Hunting Outfitters & Guides
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HUNTING

 

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Black Bear
J & J Quality Outfitters
Jeremy Mann
4620 Hwy 11,
International Falls, MN 56649
Ph 218-244-3622
Ph 320-226-6956
          
 
Elk*Deer*Bear*Big Horn Sheep*Wingshooting
Horse and Hunt Adventures
Bill Urseth
2920 East 220th Street
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Ph 514-234-0443

Often thought of as the United States’ premiere shotgun sports facility, the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club was one of the first in the country to offer the game of sporting clays in 1986. Today we've grown into a facility that features five world class sporting clays courses throwing millions of targets every year. You'll find some of the best wingshooting anywhere located right here at the club with hundreds of acres managed for your wingshooting enjoyment. As we've grown the club has become much more than hunting and clay targets. From weddings and banquets, dinner and drinks, pointers and horses, we truly are one of the premier sporting facilities in the world. Extensive rifle and handgun shooting facilities are also at your disposal. A little sighting in will make certain that you and your guns are operating at peak accuracy before heading out on that big hunting trip. Give it a try! This is upland and waterfowl hunting at its best, where sportsmen match wits with birds in their native environment by day…and enjoy fine dining, gracious service and camp style seclusion by night.Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club members hunt Pheasant, Chukar Partridge, Hungarian Partridge, and Bobwhite Quail year round. As an extra bonus we offer European-style driven Pheasant shoots, Pigeon shoots, and Wild Turkey hunting. The Club’s shotgun target range offers trap, skeet, 5 Stand, duck tower and the ultimate in shooting sports which are open to the public as well as club members.Upland game bird hunting is not the only sport our members enjoy. Members also experience native waterfowl hunting on the many natural sloughs scattered through the property. Wood Ducks, Mallards, Bluebill, and Teal are just a few of the species that migrate through our preserve each Fall.
BlackBear*Deer*
Bobcat
Grouse*Waterfowl

B
looming Valley Outfitters
Larry Emery
23632 220th Street
Greenbush, Minnesota 56726
Ph 218-782-2327
           

Blooming Valley Outfitters offers exceptional opportunities for trophy black bear and bobcat. We have several thousand acres to hunt, with a very healthy population of trophy game. Our high success rate comes from preparation done well in advance of your arrival to our camp, in the wilds of northern Minnesota. We are located in the “No Quota” area of northwestern Minnesota which eliminates your need to send in for the permit drawing, where we have an abundance of Black Bear. We have access to several thousand acres of Prime Black Bear habitat to hunt on. Our policy is to limit the number of hunters we accept per year, so that we can provide a successful hunt. Experience a Black Bear hunt in Northwestern Minnesota with an excellent chance for success! We are located in the "No Quota" area of northwestern Minnesota which eliminates your need to send in for the permit drawing. We have an abundance of Black Bear and access to several thousand acres of prime black bear habitat to hunt on. Blooming Valley Outfitters offers 3 or 5 day hunting packages catering to all types of hunting-archery, rifle, muzzleloader, and handgun. Hunting for bear is done over bait, we guarantee an active bait for every hunter,comfortable and secure stands are placed over the baits for relatively close shots. Hunters are escorted to and from the stands. We will help you track, haul, and skin your trophy and store it in our on-site freezers for your convenience. We can refer you to local taxidermists and meat processors

Black Bear*Grouse*
Waterfowl
Gold Mine Camp
7509 Hill Road
Virginia, Minnesota 55792
Phone 218-741-7056 October 1 - May 14
Ph 254-381-7080 May 15 - September 30
         
 

Gold Mine Camp is located on the 49-mile-long Vermilion River, nestled between two portage "waterfalls," in the wilderness between Lake Vermilion and Crane Lake. The Vermilion River flows north of the Trout Lake Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and eventually empties into Hudson Bay in Canada. Gold Mine has access to approximately 17 miles of navigable river system. Gold Mine Camp is a privacy-plus location. People, other than Gold Mine guests, are rarely seen. Private property in this area is limited and public access is difficult. Gold Mine is the only resort on the entire river. This allows anglers the opportunity to relax and fish without interruption.  We have about the best Hunting and Fishing experience one could have. Hunt excellent, baited stands provided by a licensed guide in Northeastern Minnesota bear management area 25. Hunt includes: cabin, boat & motor, guaranteed hit stand & bait. $1,300. Bear hunting in Minnesota is on a lottery (drawing for tags). The resort has an excellent success rate for bear. Should you desire more information contact us at Gold Mine. Northern Minnesota abounds in Ruffed Grouse, Spruce Grouse and Duck. One of our most popular packages are combination Upland Game and Fall  Hunting Trips.

Deer*Turkey*Pheasant*
Waterfowl*Dove*Predator

Wing N Fin Resort
Todd Johnson  Host/Owner
Box 67
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Ph 320-695-2450
          
At The Wing N Fin Resort we have an abundance of hunting opportunities across the entire area. From our fantastic spring turkey hunting (where most every hunter who draws a tag is successful), to our unbelievable fall and late season waterfowl and upland hunting, this little area of western Minnesota is a true hunter’s paradise. There is not only an overabundance of wildlife in our area but an abundance of public hunting grounds to boot! For those new to our area, host Todd Johnson is more than happy to give you a personal tour of the area's public hunting grounds. For those of you looking for something a little more private, Todd also has exclusive leases on several “Hot Spots” that he makes available to some of the Wing N Fin guests as needed. Wing N Fin Resort on Lake Traverse is owned & operated by longtime residents Todd & Ellen Johnson. Todd grew up hunting for deer, turkey and waterfowl in the Traverse area and is happy to point you in the right direction for deer hunting. Ellen is the local pharmacist in nearby Browns Valley, Mn. An historic town, Browns Valley has everything you need from bait, gas, restaurants & groceries, to auto sales & service, blacksmith shop and Hardware Hank. Browns Valley is just 4 miles from Wing N Fin and welcomes all visitors to the Lake Traverse area!
Black Bear
Arrowhead Wilderness Outfitters
Brian Bachman
9960 390th Street
Pillager, MN  56473
Ph 218-330-1353
Donovan Huehl
429 East Court
Lincoln, KS  56473
Ph 785-488-5120
           
 
Arrowhead Wilderness Outfitters strive to provide you with a quality outdoor experience. Brian and Donovan will work to insure your expectations are not only met but exceeded. Only experienced and knowledgeable guides and staff are employed making your stay enjoyable and comfortable. Hunted areas are well scouted with quality game present. Guides are well trained in game retrieval and game care. Equipment is well maintained and in good working condition. While we cannot guarantee the weather or the taking of game, as these are 100% fair chase hunts, we can guarantee that we will do everything we can to make your experience positive and memorable. Let us know how we can make your dreams come true
Black Bear*Deer*
Turkey*Grouse

BoderLine Adventures
Kellon Giese
Box 273
Good Thunder, Mn 56037
Ph 507-382-6514
            
 
We will do our best to make your hunt memorable. Here is the opportunity to experience a hunt of the Black Bear, White Tail Deer and small game in their own environment, Northern Minnesota. Nothing is guaranteed. That is why we call it Hunting and not Killing. We will, however, try our hardest to make your hunt enjoyable, exciting and memorableMinnesota Black Bear The black bear was originally found throughout Minnesota, but is now found mainly in northern woodlands. Bears lead solitary lives except when females are rearing their young, or when concentrations of food bring bears together.Before European settlement, grizzly bears also roamed in what is today Minnesota, mainly in the western prairies. Grizzlies have been extirpated (locally extinct) from Minnesota for more than 150 years. An average adult black bear weighs between 150 and 300 pounds, but can reach up to 500 pounds, and stands two to three feet at the shoulders. Coat color may vary from light brown to deep black.The black bear is omnivorous, eating grasses, fruits, berries, buds or leaves, nuts, insects and their larvae, and on small animals, deer fawns, and carrion. Less than ten percent of a bear's food is animal matter.
Grouse*Woodcock
Mitch Hurt's Wild Bird Hunting
Mitch Hurt
18 Caledonia Road
Livingston, MT 59047
Ph 406-223-4919
           

Ruffed Grouse is the king of game birds! Come hunt with us in Northern Minnesota and see why. Hunting in the Great Lakes area in October makes for the best time of year to pursue grouse and woodcock. The leaves changing colors and perfect weather will make this a hunt you will want to do every season. We stay at Mel Georges’ Resort. Great food, bar and rooms make for the perfect atmosphere. Ruffed Grouse is the king of game birds! Come hunt with us in Northern Minnesota and see why. Hunting in the Great Lakes area in October makes for the best time of year to pursue grouse and woodcock. The leaves changing colors and perfect weather will make this a hunt you will want to do every season. We stay at Mel Georges’ Resort. Great food, bar and rooms make for the perfect atmosphere.
Whitetail Deer
Whimsical Whitetails
4366 270th St E
Medford, MN 55049
Ph 507-446-1098
           
The elusive whitetail deer is one of the most sought after animals by hunters in North America. Whimsical Whitetails ensures a dream opportunity to hunt world class whitetail deer. We look forward to providing all of our hunters with a trophy whitetail deer hunting experience of a lifetime. We are a whitetail deer hunting preserve and outfitter conveniently located in Southern Minnesota. Come and experience your dream whitetail deer hunt with Whimsical Whitetails. Whimsical Whitetails is located in Southern Minnesota, one of the premier deer hunting locations.This area is known for its vast amounts of forests and abundance of food, which makes this a prime habitat for whitetail deer. Whimsical Whitetail deer offers the ideal environment for harvesting trophy whitetails. The hunting grounds consists of rugged hardwood forest, deep valleys, brushy areas, open fields and food plots which serve to maintain our big buck population. For the optimal maturing of our bucks and to allow us to better manage our whitetail deer herd, the perimeter is controlled by a high game fence.Whimsical whitetails has the four key ingredients for a quality deer herd. You must have genetics, habitat, food and a good age structure to produce monster bucks and superb whitetail deer hunting. Whimsical Whitetails is a family operated deer preserve on private land. We pride ourselves in making out hunters feel at ease with quality home cooked meals and a down home environment. We work full-time to make your trophy hunting trip an excellent experience.
FISHING

Walleye
Basswood Trails Guide Service
1060 East Madison Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731
Ph 218-349-5226
Ph 218-365-2239
          
Catching Walleye, among others of the North. Ely has one of the highest netting survey data in Minnesota for walleye.Non-stop action as well as our world famous shore lunch. Ultimate relaxation.
Fishing*Ice Fishing
J & J Quality Outfitters
Jeremy Mann
4620 Hwy 11,
International Falls, MN 56649
Ph 218-244-3622
Ph 320-226-6956
         
 
Muskie*Walleyes
*Pike*Trout

Pollock Guide Service
Mike Polock
9 Telegraph Drive
Virginia, MN 55792
Ph 218-348-3057
         
I can pick you up at the dock of your resort or cabin or we can meet at a place we agree upon, store, public access etc. For muskies if you dont own a stout pole with a medium heavy to heavy power, a good baitcaster reel spooled with minimum 50 lb superline and straight wire, sevenstrand, or fluorocarbon leaders of 75 lb strength or better you will use my equipment.  And at the end of a day, I'll clean your catch! That's walleyes only - the muskies go back to swim again!!
Walleye*Pike
Horse and Hunt Adventures
Bill Urseth
2920 East 220th Street
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Ph 514-234-0443
           
The Trigger's Saloon & Supper Club features dining rooms with striking hilltop panoramic views set in the rustic charm of rough-hewn logs. The casually elegant setting and wild game menu selections make it ideal for an outing with special guests. Dining here is definitely a memorable experience and is well worth the short drive from the cities! Our chef has prepared a menu offering a variety of foods from the fields, lakes and streams of this five-state region. The menu also features some traditional favorites including delicious steak, chicken and pasta choices
Musky*Pike
Musky Toms Guide Service
Tom Wehler
30618 Wallmark Lake Dr
Chisago City, MN 55013
Ph 651-470-9774
            
 

We advise you to bring your own quality tackle. Rods, reels and lures are tools and everybody likes something a little different. We also have tackle available, if you don't have your own and would prefer to use ours. Musky Tom has hundreds of proven lures to choose from if you wish. The only rule is that if you lose it, you replace it.

Walleye*Pike
Gold Mine Camp
7509 Hill Road
Virginia, Minnesota 55792
Ph 218-741-7056 October 1 - May 14
Ph 254-381-7080 May 15 - September 30
            
The Vermilion River has no equal. The Vermilion is a deep, slow moving, calm and tranquil. Protected from the elements such as wind and white caps, it allows you to view a scenic wonderland while pursuing his favorite sport On your first visit to the river you will delight in exploring what’s around the next corner. Marvel at the beautiful scenery and the peaceful waters located between two rapids/waterfalls. You will delight in trolling large bays, such as Horseshoe bay.  These bays are really lakes within the river, often having both inlets and outlets. Dozens of feeder streams and creeks flow into the Vermilion River. As any avid angler is aware, such mouths are often filled as they supply running water. This moving water brings both food and oxygen into the Vermilion.
Walleye*Bluegill
Wing N Fin Resort
Todd Johnson  Host/Owner
Box 67
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Ph 320-695-2450
           
Lake Traverse is a 17 mile long lake dividing Minnesota from South Dakota.  This offers anglers early walleye opener each year and the anglers for not only walleyes but northerns and big summer bluegills is a main attraction.  During the fall, the waterfowl and upland hunting is fantastic. Keep in mind the fishing is incredible year round and since our lodge is open 12 months a year, this is a great get-away for any time of year!
Sporting Goods Store/Fly Shop
Bear Track Outfitting Co.
Box 937
2011 W. Hwy. 61
Grand Marais, MN   55604
Ph 800-795-8068
Ph 218-387-1162
           

 
 
   
Canoeing
Huntersville Canoe Outfitters
23516 380th Street
Menahga, MN  56464
Ph 800-279-6588
Ph 218-564-4279
           
Welcome to Huntersville Canoe Outfitters. Canoe the Crow Wing River Country and see nature at its finest! The beautiful Crow Wing River offers 150 miles of canoeing and camping fun. The river is remarkably clear, with sandy beaches and excellent swimming areas.  The intermittent rapids are exciting but not dangerous.  A variety including walleye, northern pike and bass inhabit the deep cool holes and are a real test of your skills. his watery highway is an excellent family canoeing river, as well as a choice river for group trips never to be forgotten, and a favorite of church,
Canoeing*Kayaking
Piragis Northwoods Company
105 N Central Avenue
Ely, Minnesota 55731
Ph 800-223-6565
Ph 218-365-6745
Fax 218-365-6220
        
We are canoe trip outfitters in Ely, Minnesota. We rent canoes and camping gear to paddlers who love to canoe and camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Canada's Quetico Provincial Park. We'll plan your BWCA trip and get your camping permits with efficiency and expertise. We also offer guided Wilderness Trips in the Boundary Waters! Please contact our Canoe Trip Outfitting Department -- Bert Heep or Drew Brocket (1-800-223-6565) for more information. We operate within the BWCA Wilderness (BWCAW) in the Superior National Forest.
Canoeing
Blooming Valley Outfitters
Larry Emery
23632 220th Street
Greenbush, Minnesota 56726
Ph 218-782-2327
            
Blooming Valley Outfitters is now offering canoe trips on the Roseau River that literally skirts the Canadian border. You will enjoy some of Minnesota's best, including northern pike. This is a fully guided service that will leave you wanting for nothing as you experience the calming current as nature passes you by
Canoeing
Basswood Trails Guide Service
1060 East Madison Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731
Ph 218-349-5226
Ph 218-365-2239
             
Dazzle the senses with breathtaking natural beauty: Unique, magnificent, quiet, wild, and beautiful are just a few of the words used to describe Canoe Country. 10,000 square miles without roads, fly in camps, or motor boats. The only way you can penetrate Canoe Country is by canoe. It is the home of over 50 varieties of animals, 200 species of birds, and 12 species of game. Listen to the call of the loon, the hoot of an owl, the howl of a wolf and the breeze whispering in the pines. Smell the pine needles under foot, bacon sizzling in the pan, and the smoke of a camp fire. See northern lights, sparkling rapids, mirror smooth lakes, and towering pines.
   
   
   
   
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Snowmobile*ATV
Blooming Valley Outfitters
Larry Emery
23632 220th Street
Greenbush, Minnesota 56726
Ph 218-782-2327
           


Come up North to where snowmobiling was born. Try a guided trip to Polaris or Arctic Cat where snowmobiling was invented. Awesome trail riding and boon docking opportunities await you! Back at camp enjoy good company, food, and drink. In the evenings watch the Northern Lights, and listen to the wolves howl! Cabin accommodations for groups 2-14.
Snowmobile*Ice Fishing
Wing N Fin Resort
Todd Johnson  Host/Owner
Box 67
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Ph 320-695-2450
       


New Year’s Parties,  ice fishing,  snowmobiling,  snowshoeing,  coyote hunting & more!   SD Groomed  Snowmobile Trails just minutes away!
   


Minnesota Hunting Outfitters and Guides Deer Facts

The white-tailed deer is one of Minnesota's most popular big game animals. It is found in every Minnesota county and adapts well to most surroundings. Whitetails have an excellent sense of smell and hearing. The whitetail is a large brown or gray mammal that has a white tail it lifts and waves when alarmed and running. Whitetails are 4 to 6 feet long, have a 6- to 12-inch tail and stand 2 to 3 feet tall. Males weigh 100 to 300 pounds; females weigh 85 to 130 pounds. Reddish brown in summer and grayish brown in winter. Snorts, grunts and bleats. White-tailed deer mate from November to early December. Their young (often two fawns, weighing eight pounds each) are born seven months later. Fawns have white spots that remain for three to four months. Fawns remain with their mother and nurse for several months. During the mating season, male deer (bucks) travel widely in search of females (does). Bucks also scrape small patches of ground on which they urinate. These scrapes may tell bucks that other bucks are in the area. White-tailed deer eat many foods, such as acorns, corn, soybeans, mushrooms, grasses, tree leaves. White-tailed deer live in prairies, forests, swamps, wood lots and agricultural fields. They are common in both suburban and rural areas. Sometimes they are a traffic hazard. During harsh winters, deer may also become a nuisance to farmers by eating hay or corn that is stored for livestock. After the young (fawns) are born each spring, there are between 900,000 and 1,000,000 deer in Minnesota. The hunting season is important to keep the deer population from getting too large. Each year, Minnesota hunters harvest between 150,000 and 200,000 deer. When alarmed, whitetails fan their ears and raise their tails, as though raising a white flag. This is a signal to other deer that danger is nearby. Last year, 32 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 49 percent were antlered bucks. 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season. The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season. Last year’s total deer harvest was 195,000. License options allow hunters to buy individual licenses for all the seasons now give hunters more choices in where and when they can hunt deer, and hunters can take as many as five deer in many parts of the state. Minnesota has averaged deer harvested 241,000 deer over the last five years. Wisconsin is No. 1 with an average harvest of almost 450,000. The largest typical whitetail buck ever taken in Minnesota had a Boone & Crockett score of 202; shot by John Breen in 1918 near Funkley, Minn. Minnesota’s No. 1 non typical whitetail buck had 43 points; shot by 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch in 1974. A deer recently taken on the Camp Ripley archery hunt may exceed the record.


Minnesota Hunting Outfitters and Guides Bear Facts

There are roughly 20,000 black bear in Minnesota. Sport hunting is their main source of mortality. Minnesota bear hunters harvest an average of about 3,000 black bear annually.  Bear hunting license sales are restricted in most of the range to maintain a desired harvest and population size. Bear often roam long distances in the fall, looking for food-rich areas (especially acorns) where they can fatten for winter. Although they all don’t move in the same direction, travel together, or even go on such excursions every year, they typically return to their summer home range to den, so this “fall shuffle”, as it is commonly called, is actually a true seasonal migration.  Bear hibernate in their dens during winter, for as long as six or seven months, living off their stored body fat.  During this time they do not eat, drink, urinate or defecate, but recycle body wastes and arouse in spring with little loss of muscle mass or strength. Black bear mate during May-July. The fertilized egg implants in November and the cubs are usually born in January, while the mother is denning.  Newborn cubs do not hibernate, but the mother provides all their nourishment while she is hibernating.  In Minnesota bear litters are most often of three cubs (average 2.6), which by mid-March weigh five or six pounds.  They leave the den usually in early April and remain with the mother for 17 months, hibernating with her when they are 1 year old. Green vegetation in spring, turning to ants and ant pupae in June, a variety of berries in summer, and nuts (primarily acorns and hazelnuts) in autumn. Other bear, potentially wolves (while bear are hibernating), and people, who hunt bears for their meat and fur. Bear live in forests, swamps, and other areas with dense cover, but they also venture into clearings to feed. They are found mainly in the northern third of Minnesota, but range as far south as the interface between the forest and agricultural zones, where they utilize corn and other crops for subsistence.

 

Minnesota Hunting Outfitters and Guides Turkey Facts

The restoration of the wild turkey over the past 25 years is one of Minnesota's greatest conservation success stories. Once rare, today wild turkeys are becoming a common sight throughout southern and western and even central Minnesota. The birds, which usually travel in flocks, are often seen in wooded areas next to farm fields and pastures. The wild turkey is a big black or gray bird with a round body and tiny head. Males, called gobblers, have a red head, neck, and wattle (the fleshy growth that hangs beneath the chin). Gobblers have a tail that, when spread, looks like a large fan. Turkeys mate from April to May. Hens lay 10 to 12 eggs, which hatch in about 28 days. The young, called polts, are able to fly in three or four weeks, but they stay with their mother up to four months. Open wooded areas, brushy grasslands, and river bottoms. Wild turkeys are found throughout Minnesota as far north as Detroit Lakes and Brainerd. Heaviest concentrations are in southeastern Minnesota. Minnesota's wild turkey population is expanding north and west. It has grown from just a few birds in the early 1970s to more than 30,000 today. The state has spring and fall hunting seasons, which have become very popular. Hunting is regulated to allow the wild turkey population to continue growing. Wild turkeys form flocks of six to 40 birds that roost in trees each evening. In 1782, the turkey lost by a single vote to the bald eagle to become the national bird.

 

Minnesota Hunting Outfitters and Guides Moose Facts

The moose is Minnesota's largest wild animal, and Minnesota is one of the few states that have moose. The largest member of the deer family, averaging 950 to 1,000 pounds and sometimes exceeding 1,200 pounds. Its antlers sometimes measure five feet across and weigh up to 40 pounds. Moose have rather poor eyesight, but acute senses of smell and hearing. They have long legs and splayed hooves which enable them to move easily in marshy areas and along northern Minnesota streams and lakes where they browse on aquatic vegetation and on various types of willows and shrubs along shorelines. Moose are quite capable of diving to the bottom of shallow ponds and lakes, where they rip up bottom-growing vegetation. Though they appear formidable, moose are seldom aggressive. Exceptions are a cow that feels her calf is in danger, or a bull in rut.  The front shoulder hump and flap of skin hanging below the throat (called a bell) are characteristic of mature moose. Bulls carry flat, palmated antlers which begin growing in April and are usually shed in December and January. Its body is nine to 10 feet long; at the shoulders, it stands six to six and a half feet. Weighs 950 to 1,000 pounds averageThe best moose habitat occurs in young forests created by logging, forest fires and windstorms in northeastern Minnesota. They also live in a mixture of woodlots and farm fields in northwestern Minnesota. During early summer, moose feed on water plants in ponds and along lake shores.
Moose hunting was prohibited in Minnesota from 1922 until 1972 when a limited hunt was initiated. Carefully controlled hunting seasons now give hunters a chance to harvest surplus animals from an estimated total population of 5,000 to 8,000.

 

Minnesota Hunting Outfitters and Guides Elk Facts

Elk were once distributed over most of Minnesota, but the native races, in the wooded forests and on the prairie, were nearly extirpated from the state by the early 1900s. Excessive hunting during the 1800s was the primary cause of the elk's decline in the state. In 1913, the Minnesota Legislature appropriated money for the re-establishment of elk. As a result, elk were obtained from the western United States and a private farm in Ramsey County, Minnesota and brought to a holding facility in Itasca State Park in 1914 and 1915 (Minnesota DNR 2008). In 1935, 27 of the elk were released into the wild in northwest Beltrami County. They successfully established a breeding population, and in 1984 elk were listed as a special concern species in Minnesota. The elk is a large deer with reddish to tawny brown pelage, a darker mane, and a buffy rump. Males are larger than females, and have large antlers. Elk are distinguished from white-tailed and mule deer by the elk's larger size and darker coloration (Peek 1999). Elk antlers can be distinguished from the antlers of the two smaller deer species by their massive size and by the anterior protrusion of prominent tines over the brow. The elk's diet is seasonally and geographically variable. Grass and forbs are the preferred food items when available. Elk will also browse on willow, aspen, and other woody vegetation as well as consume many agricultural crops. The breeding season for elk occurs in late September and early October (Peek 1999). Males compete for and defend a harem of females; consequently, older dominant males do most of the breeding. Gestation lasts 249-262 days and a single calf is born in late May or early June. Twin births are rare (Hazard 1982; Peek 1999). Yearlings of both sexes are capable of breeding if nutritional levels are adequate. Life expectancy varies according to hunting pressure, but elk can live to 20 years or more While elk are managed as a game species in many states and are not in danger of becoming extinct in North America, there are issues to consider when trying to manage for the long-term survival of small elk populations, such as those found in Minnesota. Population dynamics, genetics, reproductive potential, habitat management, disease exposure and transmission, poaching, and public acceptance are all factors that must be taken into account when managing for elk population viability.


Minnesota Hunting Outfitters and Guides Grouse Facts

When a ruffed grouse flushes from underfoot, the loud sound can startle even experienced outdoors people. This woodland bird is the most popular of Minnesota's upland game birds. Noted for its muffled drumming sounds during the spring mating season, the ruffed grouse is present in Minnesota forests from Iowa to Manitoba. During courtship, ruffed grouse display banded fan-shaped tails. Males also have a concealed neck ruff (hence the name "ruffed grouse") that they display during courtship. Color phases range from gray to chestnut. In winter, ruffed grouse have comb-like fringes on their toes that, like snowshoes, allow for easy travel on snow. Ruffed grouse are found in forests from southeastern to northwestern Minnesota. Young to middle-aged aspen forests provide the best habitat. Alder lowlands and patches of gray dogwood are especially attractive to ruffed grouse in summer and fall. During winter, ruffed grouse spend nearly all of their time in snow burrows to stay warm and avoid predators. A ruffed grouse lives most of its life within just a few acres. Ruffed grouse populations rise and fall at intervals of about 10 years. Many other species of wildlife such as snowshoe hares also cycle at 10-year intervals. The causes of these cycles are unknown. In Minnesota, the annual hunter harvest varies from 250,000 to more than one million ruffed grouse. Hunting does not affect ruffed grouse populations either at the top or bottom of their population cycles. Flocks of these open-land grouse were once so large that pioneers said they sometimes blocked the sun. But as Minnesota's grasslands and brushlands have disappeared, so have sharp-tailed grouse. Once found throughout the state, today this bird's range is restricted to northwestern and east-central Minnesota. The once-thriving sharp-tailed grouse population has declined sharply in the last 50 years. The reason for this has been the loss of grassland and brushland habitats. Controlled burning and tree clearing has helped prevent some open brushlands and grasslands from turning into woodlands. This has helped sharptails. Each year, Minnesota hunters harvest about 10,000 sharp-tailed grouse.

 

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