The DNR asks hunters to be safe, ethical and responsible when the state's waterfowl hunting season gets under way Saturday. Those who fail to do so could face stiff fines.
In addition to state regulations, federal rules apply to the taking, possession, shipping, transporting and storing of migratory gamebirds. Among the restrictions is taking migratory game birds by the aid of baiting, or near a baited area when a person knows, or reasonably should know, that the area is or has been baited.
A baited area is considered to be baited for 10 days following complete removal of any bait. Baiting includes placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering salt, grain or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to areas or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them.
To be legally hunted, agricultural areas must be prepared in accordance with official recommendations. It is a separate offense to place or direct placement of bait that causes, induces or allows another to hunt by the aid of bait or over a baited area.
"Hunters are responsible for ensuring that an area has not been baited and should verify its legality prior to hunting," said Col. Bill Bernhjelm, DNR enforcement division chief.
Minnesota's abundance of wildlife is no accident," Bernhjelm said. "It is the direct product of habitat management and compliance with the law. When hunters follow the regulations, they are on the trail to a safe, rewarding and successful hunt."
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