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Ask a Conservation Officer: When hunting deer by archery, leave gun at home

Q: I know that carrying a firearm while hunting with a bow during archery-only season is not allowed. During the concurrent firearm-archery season, is it legal to have both a bow and a firearm provided that the hunter possesses both a firearm license and an archery license?

A: Thank you for the interesting question. Minnesota law states the following: “A person may not take deer by archery while in possession of a firearm.” So to answer your question, that too would not be allowed and would be illegal. If a hunter has a license to take deer by archery during the archery deer season, and also a license to take deer by firearm during the firearm deer season, and the person is hunting when both seasons are open, then the hunter must choose which method of take they plan to use that day and leave the other one home. It doesn’t matter if other deer seasons are open; if a person is hunting deer by archery they can’t be in possession of a firearm. This law is specific to archery deer hunting, not bear or moose hunting (when we had a moose season). The only exception would be a person with a valid permit to carry. Good luck deer hunting.

Kipp Duncan is a Minnesota conservation officer with the Duluth District. Send your questions to outdoors