Outdoors blog: Amendment would allow spearing of big game
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
Spearing big game in Minnesota? We'll see
I got word early today that an amendment had been made to the House Omnibus Game and Fish Bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would allow hunters to use a spear or an axe to take big game. Word was that Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth) had offered the amendment.
Well, sort of. I spoke to Rep. Huntley moments ago.
"Sometimes we like to have fun," Rep. Huntley said with a chuckle.
It turns out that Wednesday afternoon Rep. Cy Thao (DFL-St. Paul) offered an amendment that would allow hunters to spear big game. Rep. Huntley apparently found that amendment a bit off-the-wall, so he amended it to allow hunters to use axes as well, he said.
"Later, I dropped that from the amendment," Huntley said. "But the spearing part is still there."
Staff at Rep. Thao's office in St. Paul have not yet returned my call about the amendment.
About 25 years ago, I did a story on a gentleman from Finland (the Minnesota Finland) who had taken bears with a spear. He had checked it out with his local Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, who had OK'd the practice. He had photos of bears he had speared.
I went out with him to his bear stand one night when he went bear-spearing, but no bears came in, so I didn't get to witness the spearing firsthand.
Shortly after that story appeared in the Duluth News Tribune, DNR enforcement officials changed their minds and decided that spearing bears would no longer be allowed. The hunter made an effort to get spearing allowed under the state's game laws, but he didn't get very far.
Perhaps Thao will.
The House Omnibus Game and Fish Bill may be heard by the full House this afternoon.