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DNR penalizes dozens of hunters for deer baiting

Authorities have fined and even confiscated the guns of dozens of Minnesota deer hunters who illegally used bait during last weekend's opener.

The Department of Natural Resources has stepped up efforts to snuff out deer baiting, which has been illegal since 1991 but continues to be widespread. Officials say baiting is unethical, and leads deer to congregate in tight herds, which can speed the spread of disease.

In the Hibbing area alone, 11 hunters were cited and four had their guns seized last weekend.

Deer baiters are risking more than just fines and losing their guns. A second big-game violation in the next three years could result in the loss of hunting privileges.