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sheepheadslayer

Help with goose problem!

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sheepheadslayer

Pretty vague on the fields that they didn't allow hunting on. Was there silage that was spread on the field? Where was this located at. I can't see the DNR not wanting people to hunt unless there was a good reason for it. Pretty fishy.

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96trigger

Like I said, the fields were plowed under, I know the farmers, they weren't spreading corn on the field or silage. The DNR just said that there was too much waste (i.e, missed corn). I wouldn't even think of being on here If I thought that it was handled justly or if I thought that the parties that were supposed to hunt those fields were intentionally baiting.

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sheepheadslayer

Still haven't said where this was.

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First Ice-Mike

If this is true it is a bunch of **** !! As long as normal farming practices are followed you should be able to hunt. Disking a sweet corn field after its been harvested would quilify as normal. If the DNR starts this **** it will open a whole can of worms. Pretty soon it will be "only corn fields harvested with a John Deere combines can be hunted on cause they leave less corn behind." What happens if we get a big wind this fall and it blows a bunch of ears of corn on the ground that never make their way into a combine - guess we can't hunt them!! The DNR will make it harder for us to take geese in the fall and then turn around next spring and hand out a bunch of permits to the farmers to shoot them when they start destroying crops and then the farmer has to leave them lay - what a waste!!!!!! Why not let hunters take them and put them on the table!!!

FI

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stockchopper

Why wasn't the corn harvested? They could bail it or combine it. If someone just mowed it and disked it, that sounds like baiting to me.

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96trigger

This past weekend was the early goose opener for much of the state of Minnesota. The season opened on Saturday 9-4-04. On Friday afternoon 9-3-04, the DNR visited numerous sweet corn fields and shut them down to hunting due to the baiting rule. I understand the rule behind bating. I have read the rules in regard to it. The rules are not clear enough and leave to much discresion to the officer. In one instance, the field had been disked under for over ten days but there was too much waste left on the fields. In another instance there wasn't a cover crop planted yet. Keep in mind that it is also illegal to harvest geese on their way to a feeding area. Given this info, how are we supposed to hunt geese. Why open an early season to thin out the population, only to tell hunters that there isn't any area they can legally hunt? You know what really kills me above all of this is who caused the DNR to crack down? (tree hugger, another jealous hunter?) Many of the people I talked to Friday night were disgusted, many had people coming from all over the state to hunt geese. Can you imagine telling your kids that they can't hunt geese after driving 4 hours just to hunt them. How about the hunters from out of state that bought the Minnesota licenses just for the early goose season. What really gets me is that most of the farmers and land leasers I talked to said that they would have had all the requests taken care of if they had known. Many of these hunters had hunted these same fields for years and never had a problem. How can the DNR come out the day before opener and say no way. What are we teaching our youth about ethics? I am asking that people write or call the DNR and let them know that this was a mistake. The rules themselves are fine but going around the night before and telling people that they couldn't hunt, that just makes me sick. Fortunately I was in a group that hunted a hay field and did very well. So don't think that I am just a whiner who never got any geese. If this happened in the goose fields, it can happen anywhere. How would you like it if the day befor opener, the offcer told you that you couldn't hunt in your stand opening morning because it was illegal on a technicallity? Especially if you had hunted that spot for years. Anyway, I wanted to reach as many people as I could with this so please pass on the info and if you have time, contact the DNR.

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First Ice-Mike

If the corn field froze bad enough they might disk it rather than harvest it.

FI

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96trigger

This was a hand picked sweet corn field. It had been disked under for the allotted ten days. The CO told one farmer that he would have needed to plant a cover crop in addition to working the ground. Once again, the farmers that were harvesting the fields weren't even the ones hunting on them. It's going to be tough for hunters to ask farmers if they will not only have the corn harvested and field work done, but to also have a cover crop planted.

FYI, this was in southeast MN.

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jlm

That is the problem with sweet corn fields. If they are hand picked, all the crop needs to be harvested rather than selective harvesting. If you only harvest the largest ears and leave the rest, it could be considered baiting if you disc it up. If the corn was left standing, it would not be a problem...although you would not get many geese. Are you sure you have the complete story from the farmers? Maybe there are some details that you have not been made aware of!?! Whatever the case, it really is a bad deal to not be able to hunt when you have been waiting all season!

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96trigger

There lies the problem. Where is that stated anywhere in the regulations? That is what I'm mad about. Where does it say that anywhere in the regs. The fields were prepared for agriculture and were being taken care of like agricultural lands. The information is too vague. Put ten CO's out there and you would probably get ten different answers. There needs to be some concrete definitions. I am not mad that they shut down the field. It does bother me that there wasn't any indication of this happening and there is no clear cut regulation on this. Here is what the regs say about ag land:

Agricultural areas must be prepared in accordance with official
recommendations to be legally hunted. It is a separate offense to
place or direct placement of bait on or adjacent to an area that
causes, induces, or allows another to hunt by the aid of bait or over
a baited area. Hunters are responsible for ensuring that an area has
not been baited and should verify its legality prior to hunting. The
maximum federal penalties are: for hunting over bait: $15,000/
6 months jail, and placing bait $100,000/1 year jail.

Those fields were not baited. Nobody left corn out there for the birds to eat. It is simple as that. It was harvested agriculturally and the fields were being worked agriculturally. This could happen to anyone, which is why we need to call and write to get some concrete information.

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stockchopper

jlm said it better than I could. By the way this is federal law and our state CO's enforce those laws. From what you wrote and I assume alot of ears didn't get picked it's clearly baiting, according to federal migratory waterfowl laws, that prevent mostly southern states mnipulating crops to attact waterfowl. I do agree there should be a change in the law as far Giant Canadians. But the CO is just doing his job.

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sheepheadslayer

96trigger, you just wrote the law down so obviously you read it. It states to check for legality. Did this happen? I don't think we would be having this discussion if there was no question that this field was 100% legal to hunt. I know a few of the CO's in southern mn and would like to speak with them about this. If you could give a Citie nearby i can figure it out.

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Prime Time

96trigger

Contact me by email, I'd like to talk with you more on this subject, because I heard this took place around the area I hunt. mikelaska@yahoo.com

A few years ago I hunted Sweet Corn fields in my area. It is the only crop around that the geese head to. The farmers plant Sweet Corn to hand pick and then sell to Stores and on the Corner Markets. After the Sweet Corn is over ripe they plow it under. For the first few days the geese may eat the actual corn, but after that they are just there for other reasons. One being that a lot of Sweet Corn is planted in the Sandy Soil. Thus the geese use the field for grit. Second after a week or two the Corn will began to resprout and the geese will come in and eat the new young shoots that come up. A properly plowed field leaves very little corn on the surface.

I have not hunted a Sweet Corn field for a few years, but I am very disapointed by what I heard happened the day before the season. If Sweet Corn fields become off limits in our area. None of the nuisance geese will be harvested! Sure you will be able to pass shoot a few and call a few into maybe a hay field, but other then that these nuisance geese that Minnesota is so worried about will not be harvested! Like I said I hunted it years ago and never once felt like I was hunting a baited field. We killed the geese really good for a few days, but like any other field if you hunt it the geese will leave. And they did. The farmer never hunted with us or helped us in anyway. He just did what he was doing for years and it happened that the geese liked those fields, so we hunted them.

[This message has been edited by Prime Time (edited 09-08-2004).]

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Prime Time

Also one of the sweet corn fields in question was bringing birds from the roost over some property I can hunt. I knew that these birds were using the Sweet Corn field. If I try and harvest these birds, even though I'm over a mile away, am I illegal? If so I'll never be able to shoot a goose again during the early season.

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96trigger

According to the DNR, you would be illegal.

We also discussed that law this weekend. When geese fly down here, they are going to feed, or going to nest. The early season only allows for hunters to shoot when going to feed (can't hunt water). In that respect, it would have been impossible for anyone to shoot geese in SEMN this weekend because all the sweetcorn fields were considered bated and the geese would only land in those fields. Hunting a field in the flight path of those geese on the way to the corn field was still considered illegal.

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96trigger

Sheephead, I agree that the CO was just doing his job, I don't think that he wanted to shut down the fields. I think that this was a federal issue. I am also not disagreeing the legality of the field. If the CO says that it is illegal and that they should stay out, that is fine. What bothers me is that the people thought they were legal. The rules are to VAGUE. Anyone from this area could have gotten busted on this technicallity and been fined or lost their privilages. Once again, don't jump to conclusions, how would you like if you were on your favorite stand that you had hunted for years and thought was legal, but under a vague law, and there are some vague laws regarding hunting. Said you were illegal and slapped you with a big fine. You would be a little edgy with the laws too. I wasn't even one of the individuals that had a problem area, I'm just one that doesn't ever want to get caught on one.

By the way, the are was the Wabasha-Weaver bottoms. I know the name of the CO that was doing the shutting down of the fields, again, I don't want to name hime as he was just doing his job. I also think that this was more of a federal than a local thing.

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Bryce

Just wanted to jump in with my limited knowledge of sweet corn. Several of the operators for our company farm on the side and grow sweet corn. I end up getting oddles of it and have asked many questions about it. One of my questions was: Doesn't Delmonte get upset about picking so much? The reply was that on a field of corn, even several pickup loads wouldn't be noticed and (here's the kicker) when the picker goes through, it generally only takes the bigger ear if two ears are on the stock. The owners just go through take one ear off the stocks and give some away. Lots of corn left in the field, geese find it tasty. I say that sounds like a normal farming practice for growing sweet corn. Go shoot em.

------------------
IBOT's # 17 & 248

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Prime Time

Bryce,
Exactly... And even more so the corn that is left is not extremely dry like Field corn is in the Fall and the husk is still rapped tightly around the ear. Once plowed under the left over ears of corn stay attached to the stalk and some may be opened up. And of those few that get opened up only a few of them are exposed on the surface were the geese can consume it. After a few days since the corn is not dry it will start to either rot or it will germinate and little sprouts will come up from those buried ears of corn. I feel that is what the geese really like in the Early Season. Baiting? I don't think so...

I feel it was one of those deals where there was not a for sure yes or no to be given so it was "NO". If they would have researched the facts I feel they could have come to a better understanding. But then again I was not there and this field might not have been plowed like fields I have hunted in the past.

Later - Prime Time

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korn_fish

I agree with Bryce on this as well. These are natural agricultural practices in regards to sweet corn. And what if you mowe an oat or wheat field and have the stalk and grain in windrows for drying before having the swather come in and do the final harvest.

This is also like saying you can't bow hunt next to a recently harvested corn field. Can't pheasant hunt in corn stalks.

It's BS in general, but I think there is probably a good reason behind it and the DNR had to shut down all fields in this area because of the few fields that were intentionally knocked down to reap profit of leasing it out to goose hunters. So even if the farmer and fields may have been legit, you suffered because of others greed.

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Prime Time

I would like to post this example and let me know what you feel about it.

Example:
A farmer is picking field corn in October. He is getting followed around the field by a wagon that the Corn is getting dumped into. The wagons door is not completely shut, so grain is spilling out as they drive along. Not enough to notice, but enough to leave a good amount of grain on the ground. The field is complete and days later the Geese start using the field. Jo Bob Hunter drives by and notices the large number of birds so heads down the road and askes permission. "Go ahead" the farmer says. Jo Bob wakes up early the next morning and heads out with a group of friends to hunt the field. Morning comes and the geese pour in like they did the night before. An easy limit is at hand, the best hunt he or his friends have every had, when a truck pulls up and out steps the local CO. He comes walking out in the field to check licenses and notices a large amount of spilt corn in the area that Jo Bob did not notice in the dark setting up decoys and failed to notice after the shooting got hot and heavy.

1) Is the field baited?
2) Is Jo Bob at fault?
3) How much food does it take before a field is baited?

You can see this and more that I wrote on the same subject on the Waterfowl forum...

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