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.

Comments (10)
  1. Emlee says:

    I presume the reporter understands bait is a pile of Food, not wood.

  2. jackactionhero says:

    Why is it illegal in the first place? So they can confiscate some cool new gear from outdoorsmen?

    It’s legal in Wisconsin and many, MANY other states. Why would you fish with a naked hook?

  3. JWHunter says:

    Illegal yes, unethical?
    However very insignifiacant.
    144/450,000+ hunters=.00032

  4. PJO says:

    what bothers me about this story is that it makes all deer hunters look bad when those without ethics are a very small percentage of us.

  5. brian says:

    Who cares about a bunch of forest rats? Extend the season or shoot better!

  6. wretched lowlifes. says:

    A season needed on Poachers. Its a larger percentage than is realized. Seems to me they don’t give much more back than rats, either. Its disgusting
    When you see what these lowlifes do to the Deer herd. Not one large Buck left in this area. Nothing braver than lazy slobs setting up bait along the road, and shooting the fawns they baited. And, they are SOOOOOOOOOO blatant about it, they do it all year long without any fear of justice, coming for them.

  7. Ricky_O says:

    Let me see, hunters pit themselves against an animal with a brain the size of a tennis ball, with no intellect, and only raw base instincts; AND THEY STILL CAN’T WIN! So, they have to CHEAT.
    And then they call it a “SPORT’. There’s no sport in it. It’s a massacre, carried out by the dumbest of the dumb. The rules are all in the hunter’s favor and they are such putzes they still are outsmarted by the dear. Another example: Look at how many of these brilliant souls fall out of trees every year, or shoot themselves or others. You can’t make this stuff up.
    There’s a reason for the rule. Get caught breaking it, loose big time. Better yet, stay home, plop your a$$ in front of the telebision, pop a brewski, watch faootball, and get fat(ter).

  8. tj says:

    penalties should be bigger for baiting, People that bait just mess it up for people who actually put effort into hunting. Don’t be lazy, its called deer HUNTING for a reason. enjoy being in the woods and getting away

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