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Field reports: Firearms transport rules change

Some hunters have expressed confusion over Minnesota's new rules for transporting shotguns and bows during hunting season, said Ken Soring, Department of Natural Resources regional enforcement supervisor at Grand Rapids.

Some hunters have expressed confusion over Minnesota's new rules for transporting shotguns and bows during hunting season, said Ken Soring, Department of Natural Resources regional enforcement supervisor at Grand Rapids.

Here's what has changed: To make it more convenient for hunters, the law requiring all guns to be cased and unloaded when in or on a vehicle has been relaxed. Guns and bows must still be unloaded during transport, but under certain conditions, they no longer have to be enclosed in a case.

The new law will make it legal, for instance, for pheasant hunters to carry uncased guns when they're being transported in the field, and it will make it legal to carry an uncased rifle on a four-wheeler to or from a deer stand.

Here's how the new rules are explained in the Minnesota hunting regulations pamphlet:

"A person may not transport a firearm, including a handgun, in or on a motor vehicle unless the firearm is:

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  • unloaded and cased;
  • unloaded and in the closed trunk of a motor vehicle; or
  • carried under a valid permit to carry a pistol or handgun." However, the section continues on to say (and this is how the law has been changed):

    "Under the following circumstances, a person may transport unloaded, uncased firearms (excluding pistols) in a motor vehicle, including ATVs:

  • while at a shooting range with permission
  • while lawfully hunting on private or public land or while travelling to or from a site the person intends to hunt or has lawfully hunted that day." However, the provision allowing uncased guns doesn't apply in some places. The hunting regulations go on to say:

    "Firearms must be transported unloaded and cased:

  • within Anoka, Hennepin, or Ramsey counties
  • within an area where firearms discharge has been prohibited
  • within the boundaries of a home rule, charter or statutory city with a population of 2,500 or more
  • on school grounds v as otherwise restricted in game refuges, shining or night vision laws."

    The new law also apparently makes it legal to carry an uncased, loaded gun in a duck boat under motor power, a practice hunters might use to track down and shoot a wounded duck.

    Wisconsin puts season forecast online

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fall Seasons Forecast is available online for the first time this fall.

    The new all-electronic version includes links to in-depth background on dozens of topics as well as tips for hunting upland game and waterfowl.

    In addition to statewide and regional outlooks for such popular game as deer, black bears and waterfowl, the forecast also offers analysis and recommendations for a variety of upland game and furbearers. Season dates, bag limits and new regulations also are highlighted.

    NRRI seeks worm-hunting volunteers

    The Natural Resources Research Institute could use your help.

    The agency is looking for citizens to hunt for and collect exotic earthworms in forests along Minnesota's North Shore as part of ongoing research.

    Although commonly used for fishing, worms are not native to this region. They were introduced by Europeans about 250 years ago, according to NRRI scientists, and they are detrimental to hardwood forests.

    If you'd like to help collect and identify earthworms in September and October as part of this research project, go to www.GreatLakes

    WormWatch.org.

    Staples honored by Minnesota Trappers Association

    Conservation officer Scott Staples of Carlton has been named the first "Tanned Fur Project" Conservation Officer of the Year by the Minnesota Trappers Association.

    The Tanned Fur Project, coordinated by the MTA, takes donated furs, tans the hides and provides them to schools for educational purposes.

    For nearly five years, Staples has donated to MTA confiscated furs, including otter, fisher, beaver, bobcat, muskrat and pine marten.

  • Related Topics: HUNTING
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