Hunters concerned over hunting limits established in revised MN trespass law

By KBJR News 1

July 7, 2014 Updated Jul 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A revised section of Minnesota's trespass law is set to affect who can hunt on private land, which in this state often comes with privately owned, generations–old, hunting camps, deer shacks, and cabins.

In 2012, Minnesota's Trespass law stated that no one was able to take a wild animal, even on their own property, within 500 feet of any building for human or animals unless that person was the owner of the property.

Along with that, those hunting on public or private land couldn't take an animal within 500 feet of a neighboring corral.

In 2014, lawmakers revised the law to allow those hunting on established public land to do so without the neighboring corral owner's written permission.

But on private land, Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association Executive Director Mark Johnson, says everyone except the land owner--that means spouse, children, and relatives--will need written permission to hunt that land.

If a neighbor's corral is too close to your own property boundaries, Johnson says it's debatable if an individual can even hunt on their own property as the law now stands.

"If your neighbor's corral fence comes up to the property line, and you're 495 feet away, you may not be able to hunt on your own property in that case under this law," said Johnson, via Skype, "that's where the rub comes."

Johnson says if you don't want to write permission to someone, then you must put up a 500 foot buffer around your buildings where discharging a firearm isn't allowed, the owner being the exception.

Since 2012, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has been working with the DNR and state lawmakers to address what they call this onerous law.

But the reasoning behind this law, said Johnson, came with good intentions. Johnson says the aim of the law is to protect landowners livestock from harassment.

Billy Wagness