Hunting Stand Rules Have Changed on Consolidated Conservation Lands

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As the archery deer season opens throughout the state, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to remind all deer hunters that new rules are in effect this season on Consolidated Conservation Lands (or Con-Con Lands) in Beltrami, Marshall, and Roseau counties.

"The rules for erecting permanent stands on the Con-Con lands are slightly different, depending on whether the stand is on land that was designated as part of a state forest or a state wildlife management area (WMA)," according to Jim Breyen, DNR northwest regional wildlife manager. "We want to make sure hunters check the status of the area they're hunting before making or using stands on any of the Con-Con Lands."

On Jan. 1, 2003, undedicated con-con lands were designated for conservation use. Combined with earlier 2000 legislation, this designation dedicated several hundred thousand acres of state lands to state forests and state wildlife management areas.

Prior to designation, many permanent stands were built and used by hunters recreating on these lands. Under the state forest and wildlife management area designations, these lands have specific rules regarding elevated stands.

STATE FORESTS:

On state forest lands, permanent stands are legal, but portable stands are recommended. Personal property, even portable stands, must not remain for longer than 14 days on state forest land. State foresters have posted notices in the forests stating that it is unlawful to erect any type of permanent building, to remove timber without a permit, to litter, and to burn prohibited materials.

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS:

On wildlife management areas, portable stands are allowed if they are removed each day at the close of shooting hours and do not cause any permanent damage. Permanent stands of any type are not allowed on WMAs.

DNR wildlife personnel are placing notices on stands in WMAs that have not been removed since the Con-Con designations became effective in January, 2003. These notices inform the builder that the permanent stand is no longer allowed. Because some stands were constructed with valuable lumber and other materials, a grace period of several weeks is being given for the builder to remove and salvage the materials.

Use of the stand during this grace period, however, is not allowed, and violators will be issued citations. Once the grace period ends, WMA managers will remove the stands. WMA managers also remind hunters that pounding spikes and nails into trees is prohibited in WMAs, so hunters should use screwing or clamping devices with their portable stands, removing them along with the stand at the close of each day's hunt.

Hunters on Con-Con Lands who have questions about these changes should contact the managers for the area in which they hunt:

On WMA lands: Paul Telander

Thief Lake WMA
42280 240th Avenue
Middle River, MN 56737
(218) 222-3747
paul.telander@dnr.state.mn.us

or

John Williams
Thief River Area Wildlife Supervisor
123 Main Ave N
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
(218) 681-0946
john.williams@dnr.state.mn.us

On state forest lands:

Larry Long
Wannaska Work Station #121
164945 St. Hwy. 89
Wannaska, MN 56761-9721
(218) 425-7793
larry.long@dnr.state.mn.us