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MN: Lots of illegal hunting

January 5, 2010

Deer baiting results: 140 guns seized, 129 citations issued 

State conservation officers seized 140 firearms from hunters last season for baiting deer, according to figures releases Tuesday by the Department of Natural Resources.

Officers issued 129 citations -- a dozen fewer than in 2008 -- but still the second most since 2003, when just 25 citations were handed out. The issue remains a major problem, officials have said. Officers handled 545 baiting complaints last year. Some other statistics:

Half the conservation officers encountered other hunting violations while conducting baiting investigations, including tagging/validation violations, no license and trespass.

Apples, corn and sugar beets were used in 87 percent of deer baiting cases.

Officers reported that nearly 60 percent of the hunters who were cited for violations admitted to conservation officers that they knew baiting was illegal, but chose to do it anyway.

Nationally, 28 states ban deer baiting in any form, while 22 allow it -- eight with significant restrictions.

Cold weather helps lakes Recent sub-zero temperatures have helped freeze the slush that formed on lakes because of heavy snows. But conditions still vary and slush problems still were reported on some lakes. And, despite the cold weather, some vehicles broke through ice. A pickup fell into Lake Lida near Pelican Rapids, and near Glenwood, two vehicles broke through ice on Lake Reno.

Poachers shoot pheasants

Conservation officer Greg Abraham of New Ulm received one or two complaints per day last week regarding the shooting of pheasants, Hungarian partridge, fox and coyotes from motor vehicles. In one case, five partridge were shot and left in the field.

Large numbers of pheasants and partridge were seen dead along roadways and in fields. Abraham also received two reports of hunting dogs caught in snares; one dog was found in serious condition.

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