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Should deer stands be left on public land?

Definitely a bad idea.

Senator Gary Kubly has introduced a bill for the legislature making it legal to erect your deer stand on public land and leave it there for use, by only you, the following day. or longer!

Minnesota, a few years back made it illegal to have such stands on public land. It is a good law and it prevents hunters from tying up public lands for their own personal use.

Today there are large "portable" stands and they're appearing in public hunting areas.

Conservation officers work long days, but they can't catch all of the evaders who erect these stands, use them all day, and occupy them again next day.

These blinds are portable and they should be removed at nightfall if they're on public land.

Pre-manufactured tree stands that you can buy are popular and are available. Most find them effective. If you have one you can use it on public land if you wish. Put it up again, if the public land space is again available.


"Public Areas Open To Hunting" This is the program in North Dakota. They're privately owned lands in which the state has worked out a deal with the landowner to allow public hunting. All hunters may seek deer, ducks, or upland game on these tracts. The state provides accurate, easy to read maps for locating them, and they're well marked.

South Dakota has a similar program. I've benefited from both of them when I've hunted in the Dakotas.

Minnesota should have such a program. Perhaps it is coming:

State Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, is working to develop a project as he plans to introduce walk-in hunting legislation

The DNR plans to consider it.

The areas would be in the agricultural parts of Minnesota. At present, much of the really good areas in the state's southern and western pheasant hunting areas are leased or controlled by farmland owners who charge for hunting access.

If the state paid these land owners, these prime areas could be opened to public hunting. Perhaps payments would be higher here.

Lands, and population, in Minnesota's prime pheasant areas are higher than some lands in the Dakotas where walk-in hunting exists.

In Minnesota's pheasant belt, there are plenty of good roads. That's not the case in much of South Dakota, and to some degree in North Dakota.

Minnesota's lands are not remote. Dakota lands often are. Costs of such a program here might be higher.

The idea is being looked into, with all aspects being considered.

I don't think that a lot of landowners in Minnesota counties that border Iowa have given much thought to the idea.

U.S. Rep. Colin Peterson, a long time hunting enthusiast, recently urged Minnesota conservation officials to launch a walk-in program so that they can tap into money provided in a federal program named "open fields."

As in most things, funding is the critical element.

Not everyone is in favor of a walk-in idea. The Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Farm Bureau oppose it.

But Chaudhary says the state is leaving millions of federal matching dollars on the table by not funding the program.

The gun show advantage

An adult citizen, not otherwise restricted, can buy a handgun at a gun show, in Minnesota, from a private party who is not a registered gun dealer.

This is really quite liberal, considering the registration, the background check into one's status, when the purchase is made through a gun dealer with a store front.

All that would change under a bill introduced recently in the Minnesota Legislature.

St. Paul DFL Rep. Michael Paymar's bill would require a background check. Protests from gun rights activists have begun.

In a session at which jobs, unemployment and pressing financial issues have priority, it isn't clear just how much time the lawmakers would spend on a gun issue.

A national spokesman for the National Rifle Association has said that Paymar's bill "would effectively put an end to gun shows in Minnesota."

Pro-gun groups are saying the proposal makes no sense, as guns and ammo are selling at a record rate, while crime has diminished.

In Minnesota, love for guns runs deep. Very little crime involves guns bought at gun shows. Nobody knows why this is so. The shows have been named "Tupperware parties for criminals" by gun-control advocates.

Many gun show sellers, with tables of rifles, pistols, knives and such paraphernalia, are men who fought for their country in WWII, Vietnam, Korea, and the Middle East.

The push for more gun control in Minnesota comes when President Obama has been criticized for signing legislation that allows firearms to be carried by concealed carry permits, into national parks and onto Amtrak trains.

The gun control laws in Minnesota are considered to be among the weakest in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Wanted: Trap shooters

The Becker County Sportsmen's Club held its annual meeting to organize trap shooting at its excellent facility.

The economy, jobs, and shooting's costs were addressed. The club hopes to equal the 14 teams that participated last season.

The l6-week season will begin on Thursday, April 22.

Practice begins on Tuesday, April 15. Shooting costs remain the same, but the sponsor fee is increased, due to costs of prizes and trophies. If you are in need of shells, contact Perry Nodsle at the gun club. They'll cost you less that way, due to the club's volume buying.

The 12-gauge shotgun you already have is likely to be suitable for trap shooting at the BCSC range. Pump, semi-auto, side-by-side or over-under it makes little difference if you are familiar with it.

Time was, 60 years ago, that Winchester's Model 12 pump dominated the trap shooting scene. From Roy Rogers and Bing Crosby, to the farmer or rancher living in the most remote region, the Model 12 was king.

Then the Remington semi-auto Model 1100 appeared, and it reigned for a decade or more.

Ithaca began importing an Italian over-under made by Perazzi and the stackbarrel took over. This type is the dominate shotgun today. They cost a pretty penny, but many importers and manufacturers can provide an over-under at reasonable cost.

You can get one made in Turkey or Spain or Japan for about $700 and up. A Perazzi or a German import by Krieghoff can cost $10,000 or more. Winchester's Model 12 or over-under Model 101 can be had for about $1,000.

But you do not need to acquire any of these! Your hunting shotgun, if it has a relatively tight choke of modified or full, will do. Nice if it has interchangeable choke tubes and ventilated rib, as most new shotguns do, these days.

Trap shells are light loads. Usually No. 7 1/2 or 8 shot. Reloading is still common and popular, but the big three ammo makers offer promotional loads for just a little more than the cost of stuffing your own.

Trap shooting is a grand, competitive sport. We urge you to attend the next club meeting at the club house on April 8. More details will be available at that time, and you can bring your team roster. Get in on the start at the beginning of the season.