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DNR releases deer baiting numbers

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has finalized information related to baiting violations that were investigated by Minnesota conservation officers during the 2009 deer seasons.

• Conservation officers received 545 baiting complaints during the 2009 deer seasons (archery, firearms, muzzleloader), resulting in 129 citations being issued and 140 firearms seized.

• Half of the conservation officers encountered other hunting violations while conducting baiting investigations, including tagging/validation violations, 52 percent; no license, 27 percent; and trespass, 25 percent.

• Apples, corn and sugar beets dispersed in open areas figured in 87 percent of deer baiting cases this season.

• Officers reported that nearly 60 percent of the hunters who were cited for violations admitted to conservation officers that they knew baiting was illegal, but chose to do it anyway.

• Nearly 50 percent of the persons cited offered that they were aware of baiting regulations through DNR Enforcement Division news releases, media reports, or the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

Deer baiting is strategically placing a pile of food near deer stands or clearings in hopes of luring a deer into close range. Nationally, 28 states ban the practice in any form, while 22 allow it (eight with significant restrictions).