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Continued: Hunters in trouble: Ten ways Minn. hunters run afoul of the law

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 30, 2013 - 8:12 AM

No. 5: Transporting loaded or uncased firearms in a motor vehicle » 222

Because the Legislature greatly relaxed restrictions on transporting uncased firearms, most of these violations are for carrying loaded guns in a vehicle. “The majority of time it’s people trying to cut corners,’’ Soring said. “Some are honest mistakes that could become deadly mistakes.’’ Some violators are poachers.

No. 6: Unplugged shotgun »161

Waterfowl hunters’ shotguns must have plugs in the magazine so their guns hold no more than three shells. The law has been around forever, yet every year many hunters are cited. An easy solution: Put your plug in and leave it in, even when hunting ruffed grouse or pheasants. It’s rare that you’ll ever need more than three shots anyway, Soring said.

No. 7: No blaze orange » 139

The blaze orange requirements for small and big game hunters also has been around for years, too, yet 139 violations were issued last year. “Wearing blaze orange has been shown to greatly increase safety,’’ Soring said.

No. 8: Taking game in a closed season » 126

Taking big game out of season is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and $3,000 fine. Hunting small game out of season is a misdemeanor. Some cited last year were waterfowl hunters who didn’t realize shooting ended at 4 p.m. at the beginning of the season. And split waterfowl seasons, which began in 2011, have ensnared some hunters. Another reason to study that DNR regulation book.

No. 9: Untagged deer, fur, traps or nets » 124

Some of these are flagrant violations, people filling deer tags for party members not even in the field, Soring said.

No. 10: No federal waterfowl stamps » 122

A federal “duck stamp’’ has been needed to hunt waterfowl since 1934, yet each fall hunters are cited for not having one. Maybe they’re trying to save the stamp’s $15 cost, but a citation is far more expensive. Federal officials have made buying them easier: Hunters can get them at any post office or sporting goods stores or online.
 

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