Deer Baiting Violations On Record Pace This Season

Deer Baiting Violations On Record Pace This Season Click to Enlarge Photo: Associated Press

Nov 22, 2016 at 9:18 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI/AP) - Hunters are on pace to set a record that no one should be proud of.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said with six bow hunting weekends left and 16 days of Muzzleloader hunting to go, that they are on pace to issue more citations for baiting than at any time since they started cracking down over ten-years ago.

Last year the DNR issued 198 citations and gave 64 warnings. So far this year they have issued 172 tickets and handed out 51 warnings.

Baiting is the act of setting out any food source to attract deer during hunting season.

"If your neighbors are baiting, that is stealing from you. That is taking away opportunities for your kids, your grandkids," said Little Falls DNR Conservation Officer Mike Martin.

Officials say the increase in baiting cases seems to be a problem in today's hunting culture.

"I think people just want more opportunities at bigger deer. People hunt for fun now and they want to maximize their fun time, and this is a shortcut," said Martin.

Authorities say that with the recent snowfall baiting areas will stand out and they expect to have an easier time locating the illegal bait sites.

The fine for illegal baiting is $300, plus court costs. Another $500 can be tagged on for restitution if a deer is seized. Guns may be confiscated as well.

If you suspect illegal baiting near your home and/or where you hunt call Turn In Poachers at 1-800-652-9093 or key in #TIP on your cell phone.

The reason baiting is against the law in the state is because it encourages the spreading of disease like the one that a pair of deer recently tested positive for. 

Wildlife managers say two deer shot near Lanesboro in southeastern Minnesota were infected with chronic wasting disease.

The Department of Natural Resources says they're the first detections of the brain disease among wild deer in Minnesota since 2010.

One buck was confirmed as positive, while the second confirmation is expected this week.

The DNR says they're the only deer to test positive out of nearly 2,500 samples collected this month. Results are pending from 373 more samples.

Chronic wasting disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose. While it's not known to affect human health, the Centers for Disease Control advises against eating animals known to have the disease.

The DNR resumed CWD testing in southeastern Minnesota this fall because of increasing cases in Wisconsin and northeast Iowa.


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