Their guns were confiscated, their two deer seized, and they faced fines of nearly $1,300.
But when the two hunters - busted for baiting near Pine River on opening day of the 2008 Minnesota deer hunting season - were asked by DNR Conservation Officer Tim Collette if they had any questions regarding what had just transpired, their priorities were quite evident.
"How do we get our guns back?" one of them asked meekly. "Yeah," the other said, nodding.
To their chagrin, Collette explained that the guns would be put up for auction, but that they may try to buy back their guns at auction.
Should they choose to do so, they probably won't be the only hunters trying to buy back their confiscated guns May 2, when the DNR auctions its inventory of confiscated firearms at the Hiller Auction Barn in Zimmerman. Throw in hunters looking for potential bargains on used guns and the barn should be rocking.
Up for auction will be nearly 300 rifles and shotguns seized by conservation officers in the last four years. A complete inventory list is available on the Hiller Auction Web page at www.hillerauction.com. No other miscellaneous items related to outdoor sports will be auctioned. Proceeds will go toward the DNR's Game and Fish Fund.
The auction starts at 10 a.m., with bidder registration starting at 8 a.m. Potential bidders may inspect merchandise at that time.
According to the DNR, property will be sold "as is," and all sales will be final. Payment may be by cash, most major credit cards, cashier's check, money order or traveler's checks. A convenience fee may be added to each credit card transaction. Personal or business checks also will be accepted if they are accompanied by a letter of credit from a bank stating that the bidder's credit is in good standing. Such letters must be provided when registering.
Hiller Auction will conduct a background check of bidders on site before releasing firearms, the DNR said. Following the background check, buyers may take possession of their property. Bidders may bring their own gun case to legally transport firearms, or a temporary, disposable gun case may be purchased from Hiller.
Questions regarding the auction may be directed to Hiller Auction at (763) 856-2453, (800) 889-3450 or email@example.com.
The Hiller Auction Barn is located two miles east of the Highway 169 and the County Road 4 intersection in Zimmerman.
BRIAN S. PETERSON may be reached at brian. firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5864.
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