Hunting & Trapping Regulation Changes

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Changes in hunting and trapping regulations that affect deer baiting, falconry and snaring will take effect Dec. 19, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The changes are part of a larger DNR rule-making process that concluded this month. These changes affect seasons already open and will apply to next year's hunting and trapping seasons.


Beginning Dec. 19, bait is defined as any food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer, and has been transported and placed by a person. Hunters are not allowed to use bait, or hunt in the vicinity of bait that the hunter knows about or has reason to know about, or hunt in the vicinity of bait that has been placed within the ten previous days. This change clarifies that a hunter cannot hunt deer in the vicinity of foods that were placed to attract other wildlife, if they also attract deer. Liquid scents, salts and minerals are not considered bait.


Beginning Dec. 19, falconry limits for rabbits and squirrels will be the same as for other small game hunters; 10 combined for rabbits and 7 combined for squirrels. In addition, falconers may take 3 other small game animals, in aggregate.


Beginning Dec. 19, snares may be used on land in the Farmland Furbearer Zone, except on public lands, road rights-of-way, or in fence lines along road rights-of-way, through March 31.


Beginning with the spring 2006 seasons, electronic sights that self-illuminate but that do not cast rays of light (red dot scopes) may be used for hunting turkeys.

The complete rule package includes a number of regulations, many already set forth in as temporary rules, will apply to next year's seasons:

- special provisions for state wildlife management areas and game refuges

- controlled waterfowl hunting zones

- deer hunting regulations

- licensing, applications, and tagging provisions

- moose hunting zones

- deer and bear registration blocks

- raccoon, fox, badger, and opossum seasons

- bobcat, fisher, and pine marten seasons and limits

- pelt registration provisions

- wild turkey seasons and permit areas

- prairie chicken hunting seasons and procedures

- waterfowl shooting hours

- goose hunting regulations

- migratory waterfowl feeding and resting areas.

"Many of these changes are already in effect through temporary rules and others are technical and minor," said Mike DonCarlos, wildlife program manager. "All of the significant changes have been presented and discussed at previous public information meetings."

The official adoption announcement of the new rules with final changes will be published in the State Register on Dec. 12, and available on the State Register Web site

The original proposed rule changes are available now at: