10/4/2013 10:40:00 AM Some public hunting land closed during shutdown
The standoff in Washington, D.C. is having an impact here in Minnesota, as most federal government employees are currently on furlough during the shutdown of the federal government.
Among those employees on furlough are most of the staff at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Office in Windom.
District Manager Todd Luke noted that he remains on active duty, primarily to secure property. He noted that government workers not on furlough have been deemed essential for preservation of human health and safety.
Luke added that the government shutdown could also have a profound effect if it extends into Oct. 12, which is the opening day for the Minnesota pheasant hunting season and the resumption date of the duck and goose hunting season in southern Minnesota.
Even though they have not been posted, all federal public lands, including National Wildlife Refuges and Waterfowl Production Areas, have been deemed closed to the public during the shutdown.
State public lands -- Wildlife Management Areas -- will still be open to public hunting. Hunters will need to know whether the land they typically hunt is state land or federal land and plan accordingly.