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Hunters planning on hunting need to sign up for a firearms safety hunter education class now. That's what the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is telling hunters across the gopher state. DNR officials say that hunters can not buy a hunting license in Minnesota and many other states unless they have completed the training. "Instructors throughout the state are gearing up for the late summer fall rush," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR hunter education coordinator.
Last year was a good year for Minnesota pheasant hunters according to state wildlife officials. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials say that favorable weather helped make 2005 one of the best pheasant hunting seasons in 40 years. The DNR says hunters harvested 585,000 pheasants last fall - the highest harvest since 1964 - well above the 2004 harvest of 420,000 birds. Individually, hunters also harvested more doves and ducks.
There will soon be a new critical habitat license plate for Minnesota drivers to purchase and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is going to hold a contest to design it. "The contest represents a great opportunity for artists who would like to have their work featured on license plates across Minnesota," C.B. Bylander, Outreach Section chief for the DNR Fish and Wildlife Division.