MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued more citations for illegal deer baiting in 2011 than in any other year since the citations began being tracked 20 years ago, the department said Monday.
DNR conservation officers issued 144 citations, 24 warnings and seized 134 firearms/bows in deer baiting investigations during the 2011 big game hunting season. Those numbers are the highest recorded since records began in 1991.
Lt. Col. Rodmen Smith, the DNR Enforcement assistant director, said deer baiting is becoming very common in Minnesota.
“It seems that every year our officers are spending more and more time responding to complaints about baiting or discovering it while on patrol,” he said.
By releasing the citation numbers, Smith said he hopes to send Minnesota hunters a message: Illegal deer baiting has its price.
Deer baiting is an illegal hunting technique that involves placing a pile of food near a deer stand or clearing so as to lure the animal into close shooting range. It has been illegal since 1991.
The fine for deer baiting is $300, plus $80 or so in court costs, the DNR said. Guns may be confiscated and another $500 may be fined if a slain deer is seized.
Darin Fagerman, a conservation officer from Grand Marais, Minn., said that it’s pretty sad when a rifle that has been in a family for generations gets taken due to unethical hunting.
“Grandpa might not be too happy about that,” he said.