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EpicAdventure

How can I determine if I can hunt a given lake?

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EpicAdventure

Ok, this may be a stupid question...

This is the first year that I have hunted -- and I must say that I have had tons of fun.

I'm struggling with determining if any given lake is legal for hunting. Obviously, I can't go to downtown Minneapolis and hunt in Lake Calhoun. However, there are 10,000 lakes in MN -- for ones that aren't so obvious how do I determine if it is legal to hunt there? What are the laws/regulations? I can't seem to find the answers in the hunting regs...

So far, I have been sticking to public lands -- state forest, WMAs etc. But what about other public lakes that are not inside a specifically designated public land?

So I suspect that within any city limits, discharge of a firearm is illegal but I suspect there is more to it than that.

I suspect you would have to be so many feet away from private land?? (e.g. surely you can't throw some dekes out in front of someone's dock!)

Thanks!

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mpester

I called a CO a couple of weeks ago about a lake near my house. He told me the 500' rule from occupied structures does not apply once you are on the water (except for livestock - you do need to be 500' from livestock if you do not have permission). What this CO told me is that you can be in front of someone’s home if you are in the shoreline vegetation. He did not recommend setting up right by a house but it is legal. If I did this, I am sure a homeowner would be out as soon as the ducks started dropping. I would not hunt too close to a home because it is just rude but it is legal by what this CO said. Talking to him opened a lot of small lakes I have not been hunting because of the 500' rule. If it has public access and the local ordnances allow hunting, you can hunt it. Public access can be a ramp or just the right of way for a road.

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EpicAdventure

Thanks for the response.

So about accessing a lake from a road right of way. Does that just mean that the lake has to come up to the road?

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mpester

For the most part, yes. ROW ( Right of Way) vary in width. Most county roads have a 66' ROW - 33' on each side from the center line. State and federal roads will have a wider ROW but they vary widly.

The hard part in the metro area about access in a ROW is parking plus a lot of land owners will try to run you off because they do not know the law. Here in Washington County, most of the attractive ponds that could have ROW access have county signs saying no boat launching.

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hunting12345

If there is no vegitation around the lake is it legal to sit on the rocks or the shore around the lake?

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mpester

I asked the CO if I could be up against shore, in the boat, since the water was too low and all the shoreline vegetation was out of the water. He said that would be a violation. You must be partially concealed in vegetation. I think sitting on a rock would not meet the "partially concealed" rule but I would call a CO if I were you.

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bassman222

I am pretty sure the "patially concealed" only applies to water situations where you are floating a boat. If you are on shore, you are on shore. It doesn't matter if there is vegetation or not if grounded ex.- using laydown blinds on a muddy shoreline etc.

You should be fine hunting on a rocky shoreline with no vegetation.

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Sartell Angler

bassman is right...vegetation is only needed if shore is not involved.

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mpester

I did not even think of not hunting in a boat. That sounds about right to me. The rules in this state for hunting and fishing are a bit hard to follow. I grew up in Maryland and the hunting and fishing rule book was much smaller than either book here in Minnesota. In Maryland you could hunt out of a layout boat in the middle of the water and I wish we could do that type of hunting here.

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eyewall

Would it considerd to be trespassing if your hunting on the shore on private land?

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EpicAdventure

Thanks for posting that kobear. Interesting reading. I'm not sure I understand it.

Basically, I got that if there is public access then the public his "riparian rights." What that exactly means, I don't quite understand. I think it means you have the right to be on the lake in a boat. However, I don't know what the implications are as far as hunting (close to or on the shore).

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jbell1981

Stay of shore and keep your feet wet and you will be with-in the law.

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