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Rules for where to hunt?


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I've looked everywhere on the DNR website, looked through all regs, etc etc and I can't find anything that talks about how you determine if an area is OK to hunt.

Does anyone have a 'checklist' of sorts of what makes a place OK to hunt waterfowl?

I am specifically looking at particular public lakes and rivers in and around the twin cities. As long as you're 500+ feet away from any buildings, is there anything else that needs to be taken into consideration? I want to be legal and legit.

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I think the biggest thing to look at is city ordinances, if you've got an area you are interested in give the local sheriff a call to make sure you're not going to get into any kind of bind.

If the DNR has any special regulations, they'll usually be posted at the boat launch(es). It's not a bad idea to give the local CO a call just to be certain, e-mail is even better as you can print it out and have it on paper if there's any question.

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Remember the 500 foot rule does not apply on water.

I called a few of the cities in question, and they weren't much help. They have maps for archery and firearms, but aren't the rules different if I'm on public water?

For instance, the Mississippi river by Saint Paul Park is heavily hunted every year, yet the gal on the phone told me its against their ordinace because their city limits extend to the center of the river. So technically even the little islands and backwaters are off-limits! I even spoke to the chief of police who didnt seem to know if or where a guy could hunt for sure. He did mention they get a lot of complaints every year though.

I left a voicemail with the local CO so we'll see where that goes. I'd like the option to hunt the morning and fish during the day this year on the river wink

If anyone has any insight on this but doesn't want to post it online, shoot me an email at [email protected]

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Some citys require a permit to shoot in so called city limits.

I have had to get them when early goose hunting.

Its getting tougher and tougher to find places in and around the cities and about all you can do is call,email and do homework to get the info you need.

Sorry this might not be the answer your looking for but I tend to stay away from the cities now.

Good Luck

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Remember the 500 foot rule does not apply on water.

Ok well how about this question --

If you are hunting public water where the city ordinance is OK with firing shotguns, but the shoreline is private (unmarked), can you still hunt as long as you are in a boat wedged in some reeds/cattails?

What is the rule on the water if not 500 feet?

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The 500 ft rule is a DNR rule, city statutes can overrule this if they choose, and many metro cities do. You cannot discharge or openely possess a firearm in most metro cities (unless you have a permit to carry). Check with the city you plan to hunt in first, as most do not allow firearm discharge of any type. The further you get from the mpls/st paul area, the more likely you are able to hunt within city limits.

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I called a few of the cities in question, and they weren't much help. They have maps for archery and firearms, but aren't the rules different if I'm on public water?

For instance, the Mississippi river by Saint Paul Park is heavily hunted every year, yet the gal on the phone told me its against their ordinace because their city limits extend to the center of the river. So technically even the little islands and backwaters are off-limits! I even spoke to the chief of police who didnt seem to know if or where a guy could hunt for sure. He did mention they get a lot of complaints every year though.

I left a voicemail with the local CO so we'll see where that goes. I'd like the option to hunt the morning and fish during the day this year on the river wink

If anyone has any insight on this but doesn't want to post it online, shoot me an email at [email protected]

The st. paul park/grey cloud island rule is new this year. There are signs up and down the river (i believe) this year. Haven't been down there yet but have heard from some buddies that were early goose hunting.

As for trying to find out if an area is legal to hunt or not.... Good luck. We tried this and get the run-around from everyone. No one has told us "no" so we hunt it and haven't been questioned yet... Good Luck

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I spoke with the local CO and he was the most helpful. I now know where I can hunt smile Almost all of Pool 2 is off limits to hunting now, which is a bummer. I just hope there's someone down there enforcing it because I'm sure there will still be a bunch of guys hunting down there un-knowingly. I don't want anyone to get in trouble, but heck, if I can't hunt it because of the city ordinances, they can't hunt it!

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I spoke with the local CO and he was the most helpful. I now know where I can hunt smile Almost all of Pool 2 is off limits to hunting now, which is a bummer. I just hope there's someone down there enforcing it because I'm sure there will still be a bunch of guys hunting down there un-knowingly. I don't want anyone to get in trouble, but heck, if I can't hunt it because of the city ordinances, they can't hunt it!

Seriously? I was thinking of trying it out since i live in SPP...It wasn't on the launch in Lions Levee park, Still tells you that you can hunt below Mile marker 27 (i think it was)..

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Your MN DNR COs are responsible for knowing and enforcing the state wildlife codes. They will be familiar with Federal codes too. Some, many DNR COs will not always be familiar with county and city ordinances unless they are asked specifically to become involved in the communities they work in.

The county sheriff or city police officer will often have to enforce these rules. If you are hunting over water, the city policeman will not be able to interact. County sheriff departments usually have a boat or two for safety and rescue operations.

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I'm just sayin, if you hunt on Pool2, you better know what city you're in and who owns the land you are hunting. I'll be calling in people who aren't following the rules down there now that I know them.

Too many people either know the rules and intentionally break them, or don't know the rules and hunt anyways. I always fish pool 2 in the fall and have never hunted, and see a lot of people hunting in areas that I now know they shouldn't be.

Heck last year there were some guys goose hunting on the Grey Cloud Island Scientific Natural Area... not only does the city ban hunting there but the DNR bans hunting on that SNA as well.

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Just out of curiosity Burchoid what was the CO's name that you talked to? I have done some hunting down on spring lake and talked to a few different CO's.

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No idea... I spoke with someone named Mark first, but he was the head of some department and didn't have the answers to my questions, so he said he was going to have the local CO call me. I got a call 30 minutes later but I didn't write his name down. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about and made sure to warn me thoroughly about all the deadheads in the backwaters...

I think this was all for nothing though, since the MS river is cresting tomorrow. All the ramps are closed and the water is up VERY high. I'm hunting my family's private land instead wink

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just talked to the CO that patrols the spring lake area and said that the same rules apply as last year so it doesn't sound like anything is different down on the river this year. Just have to be south of the mile marker (forgot what one) and off the mane channel as usual

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