A flurry of reports of hunter trespass on private property ranging from Bemidji to Rochester to Hibbing to Marshall was reported during last weekend's Minnesota pheasant opener, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
With the firearm deer season getting under way Nov. 3, the DNR reminds hunters that there is one sure way to avoid problems associated with trespassing: "Always Ask First."
"Trespass is the biggest problem landowners have with hunters," said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement Division director.
"It is critical for hunters to have good relationships with landowners, especially when you consider that in some parts of the state, such as southwestern Minnesota, about 95 percent of the land is privately owned."
Konrad added, "If hunters and other outdoor recreationists would just make it a standard practice to always ask for permission before entering any private land, those relationships would improve a lot."
Konrad encourages all hunters and landowners to obtain a copy of the 2012 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and review the trespass information on pages 6 - 8.
"I can't stress enough how important it is to be very familiar with the trespass law," said Konrad
Trespass penalties range from a $50 civil fine to a criminal penalty of a several thousand dollars, confiscation of vehicles and hunting equipment, and revocation of hunting privileges for up to two years.