State tests cattle grazing on hunting grounds

  • Article by: Doug Smith , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 5, 2013 - 3:43 PM

When Minnesota’s 85,000 pheasant hunters take to the fields beginning Saturday, some may encounter public hunting grounds trampled this summer by cattle.

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verdepatoOct. 6, 13 4:58 AM

The looters are at it again Land that was bought by sportsmen is now being turned over to business When will we stop being sheep and just say no

rogue37Oct. 6, 13 7:32 AM

they have found that mob grazing in Africa is bringing back the diversity of grasses. they use 25000 sheep in a group. It works better then fire and better for the environment. In the 40s, 50s and 60s these were all grazed. every farm had a few cattle that grazed the sloughs. Now not grazed no ducks like it used to be. just think about it. Because what is being done there for the last 40 years isnt working for ducks.

samclemensOct. 6, 13 8:14 AM

Nice idea. Let's trample all the wildlife areas so the critters will have no place to live with any cover. Dumbest idea I may have ever heard of.

tmrichardsonOct. 6, 13 8:24 AM

I noted the origin of the idea did not come from the DNR--the DNR was ordered to do this by MN Legislators. You think those legislators forced the DNR into this because they think it will be good for habitat? They did it because agricultural interests were lining their pockets!

SpringerguyOct. 6, 13 9:53 AM

Glad I've spent so many years volunteering with Pheasants Forever and other conservation organizations to raise money to purchase public lands that will be used for cattle grazing. I don't care what the DNR states publicly, this was introduced via legislative action and now they're trying to put lipstick on a pig. It's bad enough that we've created taxpayer funded incentives to dig up every square inch of ground through subsidized crop insurance, now even the public lands are being turned over to ag. Oh, and why do they need public land to graze? Because the subsidized crop insurance has motivated farmers to dig up previous land that was historically used for grazing. I am so utterly disgusted I will no longer vote party line - my oath is vote against all incumbents, could care less if they are republican or democrat.

notmydnrOct. 6, 1310:26 AM

For a little different perspective, I own habitat and agree that tall grasses are needed for nesting, but short grass is far superior for raising the young- tall grass gets too hot and it's easier to catch insects in short grass. On smaller plots the blend is accomplished by mowing strips to provide access to food, but also quick cover if needed. On the larger parcels described in the article, I can see grazing as a way to create similar strips, on a larger scale. Also, many of these properties were originally "marginal farmland" so a little fertilizer won't hurt either, and manure tends to attract bugs which are a main food source for the hatchlings. As long as they don't get carried away, it's probably not a bad thing.

ruphinaOct. 6, 13 4:17 PM

how about using goats to control brush? we have already seen a few articles this year about using goats for that purpose, and it could keep brush down with less impact on the grass. Bill G.

livefreeordOct. 6, 13 5:41 PM

They have used goats in the recent past. Don't know if they still are. There was a 40 acre section owned for years by a hunt club with lots of russian olives and other brush. The DNR got ahold of it and hired out the ripping out of all the brush to return it to grasslands. They got rid of lot of great cover doing that. Then they had goats graze it for a couple years to keep the brush from coming back.

jorge016Oct. 6, 13 8:28 PM

Samclemens-you have no idea of the benefit that properly managed livestock can provide to prairie habitat-did the buffalo destroy the habitat so that "critters" had "no place to live without any cover".

samclemensOct. 6, 13 9:37 PM

To jorge016: In the time frame you are talking about virtually the entire area between the Appalachian and Rocky Mtns was prairie and wildlife were en abundant. It mattered little that Bison, not Buffalo, trampled an extremely small area on annual basis. Today that vast area has been plowed, tilled and removed from being a productive area to rear wildlife. We cannot afford to have that trampled if there is going to be any substantial amount of wildlife. And seriously, do we really need to farm virtually every square inch of the earth? It is shameful that the Great American Prairie has been rendered to only exist in very small parcels between the two mountain ranges.


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