With Minnesota’s small game, waterfowl, and archery deer seasons underway, and the firearm deer season set to begin Nov. 9, conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) remind hunters that there is one sure way to avoid landowner concerns associated with trespassing: “Always Ask First.”
“Trespass is the biggest problem landowners have with hunters,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR enforcement 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.”
“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.”
Soring encourages all hunters and landowners to obtain a copy of the 2013 Hunting and Trapping booklet and review the trespass information beginning on page 6. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to be very familiar with the trespass law.”
Trespass penalties range from a $50 civil fine to a criminal penalty of several thousand dollars, confiscation of vehicles and hunting equipment, and revocation of hunting privileges for 2 years.
Unlike urban law enforcement agencies, conservation officer response times to trespass calls may be longer, especially during the firearms deer season.
Callers are urged to contact the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093 to report any alleged wildlife violation, including hunter trespass. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.
Information must include precise time and location, along with a full description including a license plate number of any vehicle believed to be involved.