Matthew S. Miller, Minnesota DNR
Q: My friend and I deer hunt on the same property. He is a Native American and I am not. He can legally hunt over a bait pile whereas I can't. How far away from his stand is it legal for me to hunt? A: Minnesota's law restricting the use of bait for deer hunting says that a person "may not take deer with the aid or use of bait." A definitive distance is not established by law because the influence on a deer's movement will vary in different settings.
Q: Last fall we arrived at a walk-in hunting area just after another hunter. We each proceeded to get ready to hunt, but then the other hunter told us he would leave to find another spot. Should we have been the ones to leave? Are there laws governing etiquette for hunting and fishing spots?
Q: If I shoot a snowshoe hare or a coyote, do I need a furbearer license to sell the pelt? A: No. A person lawfully entitled to take a fur-bearing animal can sell the raw pelt to a fur dealer without a fur dealer's license or other license. Coyotes are unprotected mammals, and may be taken in any manner except with artificial lights or motor vehicles, and a license is not required.
Q: I see a lot of stuff left on the ice from ice anglers. Can they do that? A: Litter from ice anglers is an unfortunate and very preventable problem that conservation officers deal with each year, and this year has been no different. Cigarette butts, bait containers, lure packaging, sunflower seeds, beer and pop cans, food wrappers, propane canisters and many other items add to the list of garbage left behind. This gives ice fishermen a very bad image, and quickly builds up on the ice surface, only to enter the water in the spring melt.
Q: I observed a violation and want to report it to a conservation officer. What is the best way to go about this, and what should I do? A: Contacting a CO about a perceived violation of game and fish or recreational law is very similar to making a call to a "regular" law enforcement agency; responding officers need as much info as reasonably possible describing what happened and who was involved, including information to identify possible violators, violations, vehicles, locations and times.
Q: My niece is on leave from military service, and wishes to go fishing while she is home. Is she required to buy a fishing license? A: No. State law in Minnesota makes several exceptions for military members and veterans when it comes to license requirements. Minnesota residents enlisted in the armed forces who are stationed outside the state and are home on leave are not required to purchase a license, and must only carry their leave papers with them while fishing.
Q: I see snowmobile trails labeled as either a "State Trail" or a "Grant-in-Aid trail." What is the difference? A: Minnesota has a wonderful system of snowmobile trails totaling more than 22,000 miles of rideable trail. Most of these trails are established through agreements with landowners and maintained by clubs and volunteers. These are known as "Grant-in-Aid" (GIA) trails, a network of trails formed through local initiative with financial assistance from the state.
Q: My county passed an ordinance that now allows ATVs to be ridden on the far right-hand shoulder of county roads. Does this mean that I can ride my ATV anywhere I want in the county? A: No. County boards have jurisdiction over county roads, county state aid highways, and some township roads and city streets, depending on the organization of the county. These ordinances have enabled great riding and transportation opportunities for ATV riders in those areas, but the ordinances do not apply to state highways and some city streets.
Q: Can I angle with a hook and line while I am spearing for pike in a dark house? A: Yes. One line (rod or tip-up) can be used while you are spearing from a dark house. The line can be used inside or outside the house. Any fish caught on the angling line must be immediately released or placed on the ice, and cannot be dangled in the water.
Q: I just bought a used snowmobile. The registration stickers are still valid for one more year. Do I have to transfer it into my name now, or can I wait until the tabs expire? A: State law specifies that a new owner is required to transfer the registration into their name within 15 days of the transfer of ownership. Even if the sled you purchased still has some time left before the registration needs to be renewed, you still need to go to the DMV to transfer the registration into your name.