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MN: Maplewood mayor pays for hunting lapses

March 10, 2010

Maplewood mayor pays for hunting lapses
Rossbach cited for breaking laws after bagging deer

The weekend after his November election, Maplewood Mayor Will Rossbach traveled up north for the deer-hunting opener. He ended up bringing home not only a deer, but also three citations for illegal hunting.

Rossbach was cited for shooting a deer from a motor vehicle, taking it from a prohibited area and unlawfully transporting the animal. The latter charge eventually was dismissed. Rossbach said he didn't realize what he did was illegal at the time.

"I found out I did something wrong," he said. "I was thinking, 'What a stupid thing to do.' "

According to Cook County District Court records, Rossbach, 54, was cited near Grand Marais, Minn., after he shot and killed a deer from the roadside Nov. 8. The location where he fired was within 500 feet of a person's home, and that person called police to report the incident.

Rossbach said he and a friend were out hunting and pulled their truck over after spotting a deer. Rossbach said he stood in the middle of the road, fired one shot at the deer and killed it. The duo then put the deer on the truck and drove off. Rossbach said he did not realize someone's home was behind him, though he might have seen it had he been paying more attention.

"It didn't dawn on me there was a building behind me. We were just driving. There was a deer. Thirty seconds later, I shot it," he said. "I wasn't looking (in that direction). I wasn't thinking."

Authorities later tracked down Rossbach and his friend and seized the deer.

Rossbach made a court appearance Jan. 6 and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. Rossbach was fined $640, which he subsequently paid.

The Maplewood mayor he was a city council member at the time of the citations also will not be allowed to hunt in Minnesota for three years. The ban ends a 40-year hunting tradition for Rossbach, but he said he understands.

"It's a good check to pay more attention to what the laws are," Rossbach said. "The rules are in place for a good, sound reason."

He added that the citations will not affect his job as mayor.

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