Action is heating up at the Legislature, where several outdoors-related bills have been introduced. Some have little chance of passing, but others likely will become law.
Among the proposals are ones that would:
•Prevent citizens who see a dog wounding, killing or pursuing big game to kill the dog; currently citizens can do so between Jan. 1 and July 14. Under the change, only a peace officer or conservation officer could kill a dog seen chasing big game. Those officers wouldn't be liable for damages.
•Allow residents 84 or older to take a deer of either sex without a special antlerless permit.
•Allow a resident of a Minnesota veterans home to take an antlerless deer without a special permit. It would not allow another member of the party to take an antlerless deer.
•Allow a person age 60 or older to use a muzzleloader with a scope to take deer during the muzzleloader season.
•Allow residents age 70 and older to fish without a license; currently residents 90 and older don't need a license.
•Require identification on conservation officer vehicles. The bill also apparently would prohibit unmarked State Patrol vehicles used primarily to enforce highway traffic rules.
Portable deer stands
The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association corporate board recently approved a resolution seeking to allow portable stands to be left on state Wildlife Management Areas north of Hwy. 2 during the firearms deer season. The proposal would allow hunters to erect the stands one to three days before the opening of the season. They would have to be tagged with the owner's name and ID and would have to be removed within 24 hours after the close of the season.
Then there was the snowmobiler who was towing his machine 55 miles per hour on Hwy. 6 near Remer when the sled fell off the trailer. The snowmobile slid about 250 feet down the asphalt before stopping, apparently unharmed. The owner stopped in Remer to fuel up and noticed his sled was gone.
"He was relieved to return to the scene to find his machine resting safely on the narrow shoulder,'' reported conservation officer Beau Shroyer.