MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dogs caught chasing deer may be killed by a person other than a peace or conservation officer, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Between Jan. 1 and July 14, a person other than a peace or conservation officer may kill a dog that has pursued, wounded or killed a big game animal.

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Dogs chasing deer this time of year is an annual problem, according to a DNR report. The deer are cold and struggling to survive while dogs are full of energy and ready to run.

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The report urged dog owners to keep control over their dogs.

DNR Enforcement Director, Col. Jim Konrad said, “The DNR doesn’t perceive this as a dog problem. We perceive it as a people problem.”

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The owner of a dog that kills or pursues a deer is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and may be fined up to $500 for each violation.