Tower area wildlife
Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in northern St. Louis and Lake Counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Tower area wildlife staff.
Area Wildlife Supervisor Tom Rusch along with a full-time staff of three and one part-time office manager oversee an area that includes more than 3 million acres of private and public land. This includes eight Wildlife Management Areas, seven state forests, three county forests, six Scientific and Natural Areas, the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
For Rusch and his staff, this means managing species and habitat in a 4,770-square mile area of which 75 percent is open to public hunting.
At work for you
One of the Tower wildlife area's lakes surrounded by boreal forest.
- Annually conducting population surveys to monitor deer, moose, bear, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, waterfowl, woodcock, furbearers, wild rice and bear foods.
- Managing all hunting and trapping seasons, regulations and harvest and field thousands of calls annually to assist hunters, trappers and landowners with hunting, trapping and other wildlife questions.
- Working with the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association to improve deer hunting and deer habitat in northern St. Louis and Lake counties.
- Cooperatively managing timber on 3 million acres of public forest land to improve wildlife habitat, hunting, trapping, wildlife observation and establishing winter conifer cover for deer and other wildlife in the northern forests.
- Conducting 1,000-1,500 acres of prescribed burns annually for wildlife habitat improvement.
- Managing 40 wild rice lakes, covering more than 10,000 acres in St. Louis and Lake Counties, to provide rice harvesting, waterfowl hunting and furbearer trapping opportunities.