Fall is a great time to go hiking in the woods. Last Saturday I felt the need to get outside and walk around the forest myself. It was one of those days when the rains came and went and for some of the time I had to wear a rain jacket. When I dressed for my hike that day I didn’t give much thought to my wardrobe but if you’re hiking in the Fall then be sure it’s something you think about.
Fall is a popular time for hunters to be out in the woods. I remembered bear hunting season was open as I was putting on my black rain jacket over my black wind pants. I’m glad I didn’t get mistaken for a bear since I didn’t have a stitch of blaze orange color on me. Grouse hunting and other small game hunting opens this weekend.
Keep yourself safe while hiking and if it’s during hunting season then be sure to wear some orange!
Small game hunting opens Sept. 13, blaze orange required (September 9, 2008)
Grouse, rabbit, squirrel and partridge seasons open Sept. 13, offering Minnesotans the chance to discover the state’s vast amounts of land open to public hunting, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“Small game season is a forgotten pleasure,” said Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife section chief. “It doesn’t take a large investment of time and money or much hunting expertise to get out and find a few squirrels and rabbits.”
Simon noted many small game populations are relatively strong year-in, year-out. “Minnesota is consistently one of the top ruffed-grouse harvest states in the nation. What better place to introduce someone new to this type of hunting?” asked Simon.
Basic requirements include a blaze orange-colored article of clothing above the waist; a small caliber rifle or shotgun and a valid hunting license and firearms safety training. Complete details about seasons, requirements and bag limits are listed on pages 42-47 of the 2008 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.
“Finding a place to hunt is the most difficult obstacle for many people,” Simon said. “But many people don’t know that Minnesota offers hunting in its 1.2-million-acre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) system as well as state, county and national forests.”
The WMA system, one of the largest and most-developed in the United States, contains 1,380 public wildlife areas across Minnesota, with habitat ranging from prairies and wetlands to forests and swamps. State forests offer an additional four million acres in 58 designated areas.
Details about WMAs and state forests are available online at http://mndnr.gov/destinations.