Outdoor notebook: New Minnesota DNR conservation officers complete training – Grand Forks Herald

New DNR officers complete training

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. – Eighteen new conservation officers graduated Tuesday, September 13, from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ 21st Conservation Officer Academy, after training for 16 weeks in all aspects of their new careers. The graduates have already spread out across the state and will spend the next few months training in the field with experienced conservation officers before taking up their assigned positions.

Officers have a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some are veterans, while others left their police jobs to join the DNR. Others worked as firefighters or dispatchers. Some had no previous law enforcement experience and came to the DNR through the conservation officer preparation program, which provides a path for people with at least a two-year college degree to become conservation officers.

“Each of the officers brings unique backgrounds and experiences, but the common thread that unites them all is a commitment to protecting the people and natural resources of Minnesota and a desire to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities that we have. today,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division.

Upon completion of field training, officers will work at the following field stations: Baudette #1, Baudette #2, Cambridge, Cook, Madison, Malmo, Montevideo, Ortonville, Osakis, Osseo, Pine River, Rochester #2, Sauk Rapids , St. Cloud, White Bear Lake, Warroad #1, Warroad #2 and Worthington.

Each of the graduates was chosen from hundreds of applicants and underwent rigorous testing, psychological profiling, and background checks before starting at the academy.

– Herald Staff Report

Fall Clay Target League Season Begins

EAGAN, Minn. – More than 13,200 student-athletes are participating in the USA Clay Target League’s fall season, league officials said this week in a news release. The 13,214 student-athletes compete on 761 high school, college and homeschool teams across the country.

“The League continues to break records every year,” said John Nelson, president of the USAACTL, in a statement. “The high demand for outdoor activities that are an alternative to traditional sports shows that young people want to get out and enjoy safe and fun activities with their peers. Thanks to the efforts of volunteer coaches and parents, these teams are possible.”

The students’ six-week season kicked off on Sunday, September 18 with a week of practice to warm them up and record backup scores in case of bad weather or other issues. The weekly competition begins on Sunday, September 25, and the top scoring teams and athletes will be recognized at the conclusion of the fall competition in October.

The US College Clay Target League National Championship will be held the first week of November, following the conclusion of the varsity league’s fall season. Tournaments and championships for high school league participants are held in early summer.

– Herald Staff Report

DNR offers Take a Kid Hunting Weekend

ST. PAUL – Minnesota’s Take a Kid Hunting Weekend is Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25, the DNR said. Over the weekend, adult Minnesotans accompanied by a youth under the age of 16 can hunt small game such as squirrels and rabbits without a license, though they must abide by open seasons, limits and other regulations.

Small game hunting is a great way to introduce children to hunting. Children learn to look for signs of play, handle firearms properly and access hunting grounds, all without spending too much time sitting quietly, the DNR said.

– Herald Staff Report

DNR extends deadline for committee applicants

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota DNR is recruiting new members to serve on key advisory groups related to the Game and Fish Fund, wildlife management and fisheries management, and has extended the application deadline until Friday September 30.

Interested individuals can learn more about the committees and how to apply on the Engage with DNR website at engagement.dnr.state.mn.us/advisory-group-appointment-opportunities.

– Herald Staff Report