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Owatonna artist paints third pheasant stamp winner

For Jim Killen of Owatonna, it was a hat trick when his painting of a black Lab looking at two dead rooster pheasants was chosen to be on the 2012 state pheasant stamp.

The well-known wildlife artist also won the contest in 1985 and 1997.

In all, there were 17 entries.

The $7.50 pheasant stamp is required of all Minnesota pheasant hunters ages 18 through 64. Since 1983, stamp sales have generated more than $15.5 million for habitat enhancement efforts on both public and private lands in the pheasant range of Minnesota.

The Department of Natural Resources gives no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work, which is usually done as limited edition prints. The 2012 Pheasant Stamp will be available for sale in March 2012.

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Fishing reminders:The trout season in this region is over. It ended Friday and won't reopen in this region until Jan. 1 when anglers can fish catch-and-release only on a selected number of streams.

Beginning Sept. 12, all smallmouth bass have to be released until the season closes Feb. 26.

DNR conservation officer reports:DNR conservation officers in this region are reporting duck hunting success has dropped after a pretty good opening day Sept. 24. The season in the southern part of the state was open two days, closed for five and reopened Saturday.

Most of the ducks shot last weekend were wood ducks, just like the opener.

The officers said fishing on Rochester reservoirs is slowing, but goose hunting could pick up as more fields are picked.

On the Mississippi River, fishing is so-so overall.

Scott Fritz of La Crescent said he saw a lot of limits of squirrels.

Up north, officers reported slow duck hunting but for grouse hunters, there's good news because leaves are beginning to fall.

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