The most common violation given to deer hunters last year by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers?
Failure to validate site tags.
The DNR this week reminded hunters that the upper half of the state's deer license is a site tag that must be validated before a downed animal is moved, using a knife to notch the tag, indicating the month, date and time of kill.
Before a deer is placed on a vehicle or ATV or a trailer, or brought to a camp, yard or home, the validated site tag must be attached to the deer.
Hunters are reminded as well that blaze orange is required on a deer hunter's cap and outer clothing above the waist, excluding sleeves and gloves. Blaze orange camouflage with at least 50 percent blaze orange within each square foot is allowed.
Trespassing on private land is also a common violation by deer hunters. Various rules also govern the use of public lands. Overnight use and camping on federal waterfowl production areas, for example, isn't allowed, and rules govern closed hours and camping on state wildlife management areas, and can vary by area. Erecting and using hunting blinds and stands on public lands also can be restricted. Hunters are advised to check DNR or other regulations.
A total of 1,110 citations or warnings were written by DNR officers last firearms deer season, compared with 1,035 in 2009.
The 10 most common violations last year included failing to validate tag (180 citations); hunting over bait (150); untagged (131); transporting uncased/loaded firearm (127); failing to register deer (110); misdemeanor shining (92); license not in possession (89); trespass (87); shooting from road right-of-way (81); no license (63). Hunting violations can be reported by calling 800-652-9093, or #TIP on most cellphones.
• Southeast Minnesota bucks (from permit areas 338-349) must have at least one four-point antler to be legal, and hunters in the region no longer are allowed to tag bucks shot by other hunters. (These rules are not effective in the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone, deer permit area 602.) Youth ages 10 to 17 are exempt from the antler-point restriction. Adult hunters are not allowed to tag a buck for youth hunters.
• Hunters who harvest a deer in and adjacent to the CWD Zone must register their deer in person at check stations located in the area. Hunters who harvest deer within the CWD Zone cannot remove the carcass from the zone until a CWD-negative test result is reported. (Some exemptions exist. See website address below.) Testing typically takes three business days and results can be accessed by hunters online at the web address below.
• Other deer permit areas where in-person registration is required but carcass movement restrictions are not in place are areas 233, 293, 341, 342, 343 and 344. Check stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the nine-day firearms season. Complete information about CWD and DNR efforts to manage it is available online at www.mndnr.gov/cwd.