It seems like every year some knuckleheads on snowmobiles have to be reminded that they need to stay on the trails, stay off of private property and stop acting like morons in town.

When it comes to the groomed trails, local clubs post the warnings on Facebook; the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sends out news releases about it; and there are signs all over the thousands of miles of trail in Minnesota.

It’s not a hard concept to understand.

Still, some people are either too stupid or they just don’t care and take every chance they can to run off trail through somebody’s field or yard or whatever and ruin it for everyone else.

Apparently, the temptation to feel the thrill of a three second braaaaaap in fresh powder is just too much to handle for some.

(Outdoors guy note: Braaaaap - for those who don’t snowmobile - is the universal calling card of sledders. It represents that sound a two-stroke makes when the throttle is pinched. Say it out loud two times quick, you’ll understand).

My question for off-trail guys and gals is where are they when portions of trail are lost because private landowners are fed up with their antics? Are they first in line to plan and cut new trails, sometimes miles out of the way, so that the rest of us can get from Point A to Point B?

Nope. They are at home complaining about the trails not being ready on Dec. 1 without a clue that one of the reasons might be that club members didn’t find out about the loss of land until that very day.

They also like to moan and whine about the DNR and tell anyone who will listen that they pay the sticker fees and the government is wasting their money – never mind all the money and time it takes DNR officials or club volunteers to reroute trails.

There is plenty of space for off-trail riding in northern Minnesota, it’s not difficult to stay off of private property.

The other thing that annoys me as a snowmobiler that lives in town and needs to drive on city streets from his house to the trail to get anywhere is the people who feel the need to pinch the throttle on their machines over and over again while in town.

Don’t you know you’re just annoying everyone in town with that constant braaaaaap, braaaaaap you’re so proud your aftermarket exhaust mod creates?

Out on the trail it’s fine. But 10 feet from your neighbor’s house? Come on, man. Use some common sense.

There’s a park up the street from where I live and there are two or three people who have decided that at least once a week they need to pinch the throttle over and over and over in a circle on the ball field there.

Why? What’s the point? You aren’t impressing anyone.

Of course, when the city council decides to ban snowmobiles from the streets of your town, you’ll be the first person on social media complaining how it is so unfair and that the cops and the DNR and the mayor are all out to get sledders.

It’s fascism, mannnnnnnnnn.

Give me a break.

Here are some more tips from the DNR when it comes to snowmobiling this winter:

•Watch the weather and check trail conditions before riding. Don’t ride in adverse weather conditions. Plan your trip and check the trails you’ll be riding prior to departure. Check trail conditions and trail maps.

•Don’t drink alcohol and ride. Alcohol is a factor in over 60 percent of all fatal accidents in Minnesota, as well as many non-deadly snowmobile accidents. Alcohol and drugs have a negative effect on the driver’s vision, balance, coordination, and reaction time. Don’t ride with people who drink and ride! Minnesota is part of a larger coalition of snowmobiling states that support ‘Zero Alcohol’ consumption before or during your ride.

•Never ride alone. Always ride with a friend on another snowmobile. This way if one machine is disabled, you have another to get help.

•Dress for safety and survival/ Always wear a quality DOT helmet and facemask. Wear layers of clothing to keep warm and dry. Snowmobile suits, bibs, jackets, gloves and mittens should cut the wind, repel water and keep you ventilated.

•Slow down. Excessive speed is a major factor in many accidents, especially at night. To help avoid accidents, keep your nighttime speed under 40 m.p.h.

•Stay to the right. Almost every trail is a “two way” trail. So stay to the far right of the trail, especially on hills and corners. Obey all trail signs and cross roadways with extreme caution.

•Riding on ice, lakes and rivers. It is safest to avoid riding on lakes and rivers. If you must ride on ice, wear a life jacket over your outer clothing. Stay on the marked trail and stay off of ice that has moving water (current) near or under it - ice in these areas may be thin and weak.


DNR seeks to fill up to 200 paid summer internships

The DNR is looking for passionate and dedicated college students interested in learning more about possible careers with the DNR through paid summer internship opportunities.

DNR summer interns will not only gain valuable experience and training, but will also help the agency create a healthy, sustainable, and livable Minnesota for future generations.

The internship opportunities, located throughout the state, run the gamut of agency operations — from accounting to wildlife management. Interns work 20 to 40 hours per week and receive a competitive salary of $15 an hour.

As part of their internships, students must also fulfill an academic requirement or receive academic credit from their educational institution. To apply, visit the state of Minnesota careers website and enter “intern” into the keywords field on the job search page. Select “Natural Resources Dept” in the “Agency” column on the left side of the page.

Choose the internship(s) of interest and click the apply button to submit an application.

Applications will be open until Jan. 31. Positions will start in May and June.

The DNR is an equal opportunity and veteran-friendly employer. We celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion. To request an accommodation or alternative format of the applications, please contact us at: ; 651-259-5016; or call using a preferred telecommunications relay provider.


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