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Party Hunting


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bowhunternw

What are the rules as to what makes a party hunt? Do you have to be within a certain range of the other person. Or what exactly is the definition?

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As defined for deer hunting. There are other definitions regarding small game, doves, etc. so if you're looking for those, they can also be found in the regulations handbook.

Quote:
PARTY HUNTING

• A “party” is defined as any group of two or more licensed deer hunters

who are all afield; hunting together at the same time; and all

using firearms (including muzzleloaders) or all using archery.

• A mixed group of firearms and archery hunters is considered two

separate parties.

• Crossbow hunters may not party hunt with firearms hunters.

• Crossbow hunters may party hunt with archery hunters if they

possess an archery license with a crossbow disability permit.

• Any member of a party meeting this definition may kill a deer for any

other member of the party who has an unused tag valid for that deer.

• Some restrictions apply to 300 series deer areas. See page 80.

• Party members may not kill an antlerless deer in a lottery deer area

for: 1) a member of the party who is a resident under age 18; or 2) a

disabled person authorized to take antlerless deer under a permit to

shoot from a motor vehicle.

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bowhunternw

Thanks I guess I understood what it said in the book. Wondering more in regards if 2 people were stand hunting. Could you hunt different properties or is there an acceptable distance you could be away from the licensee. Normally hunt by myself, but a friend was looking for some help getting some meat. And just want to know what others see as legal, 2 in the field hunting together is quite vague.

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shortfatguy

According to the wording in the book you could be 100 miles apart as long as you are both actively hunting at the time a deer is taken.

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From the DNR website:

■

"Read the party hunting law: It's in your hunting regulations booklet. The party hunting law is designed to allow a popular form of hunting while also preventing parties from shooting more deer than the available number of tags or permits possessed by the party. In short, if you plan to tag a deer for someone else you must take precautions so that you can contact other party members quickly to ensure that excessive deer are not taken. Practically speaking, this means you must hunt close to each other, or agree on a way to signal each other when a deer is taken"

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shortfatguy

You can signal by calling on a cell phone and stating you shot a deer.

I know it says hunting together. Does that mean 10 feet? within sight? if not with in sight or speaking range it may as well be 100 miles.

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Isn't in illegal to use cell phones, walkie talkies, etc. in the taking of game? If so, that would probably include the situation you are describing shortfatguy.

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I believe it's illegal to use electronic aids (cell phones, etc.) in the "taking of game", which I believe is defined as something like "a deer is coming your way from the west". I don't believe based on what I've read (too lazy to find a link) that electronics are illegal if used to comply with rules and stay legal (i.e.: we just got a deer, we are limited out). Regardless, I think there is some type of proximity rule that applies here. Don't think your fellow party member can be hunting 2 miles away and be considered in your party. The rules (pg 75) defining party hunting say must be "hunting together". "Together" leaves room for interpretation, but at a minimum I would think need to be in the same geographical area of property.

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Isn't in illegal to use cell phones, walkie talkies, etc. in the taking of game? If so, that would probably include the situation you are describing shortfatguy.

Once the deer is down it is permitted to call for help or call to indicate you have taken a deer. I specifically asked this question at our company safe hunting meeting where we invited 2 CO's from the area to answer questions. Once the deer is down, it's already taken so you are no longer assisting with the taking of the deer.

It was also asked about calling for help to track a wounded animal and this too is permitted. It's okay to call a member of your party to ask for help tracking.

What is not permitted is to call to inform another hunter that a deer is moving their way or something along those lines.

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I believe it's illegal to use electronic aids (cell phones, etc.) in the "taking of game", which I believe is defined as something like "a deer is coming your way from the west". I don't believe based on what I've read (too lazy to find a link) that electronics are illegal if used to comply with rules and stay legal (i.e.: we just got a deer, we are limited out). Regardless, I think there is some type of proximity rule that applies here. Don't think your fellow party member can be hunting 2 miles away and be considered in your party. The rules (pg 75) defining party hunting say must be "hunting together". "Together" leaves room for interpretation, but at a minimum I would think need to be in the same geographical area of property.

It does seem to be quite vague. I should think if you ride together or park your vehicles at the same location as a group and walk from there to your stands it would be pretty obvious you're hunting the same party. Maybe some fool might want to push the envelope and walk five miles from his vehicle to a stand. In that case be my guest and hope you drop a 250 pounder to drag out. I suspect some level of reasonable common sense comes into play.

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I feel some for the true party hunters, in my area it could be termed the abuse of the buck tag. Shoot a buck, find a tag and as a party of 2 drag it out.

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Too many ways to "play" the party hunting game.

I dont like party hunting. On our farm, my rules are, if you shoot it you tag it.

My additional rule, you shoot it, you tag it, you keep it. I dont want deer being shot on our place and being gifted to other people. Oops. I digressed.

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As usual pleny of gray area in this law. Most of our stands are within a mile or so but we do have stands that can be anywhere from 3-5 miles apart depending on who is sitting where. We all hunt out of the same base camp so I guess I would never consider us not a party. I wonder how a CO would interpret it if one guy were to shoot a deer and have a guy 3 miles away come and tag it.

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I haven't looked recently ( I do not party hunt), but the book used to state that party hunters must remain within un-aided visual/vocal contact of each other.

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From the book of regs:

A “party” is defined as any group of two or more licensed deer hunters

who are all afield; hunting together at the same time; and all

using firearms (including muzzleloaders) or all using archery.

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What are the rules as to what makes a party hunt? Do you have to be within a certain range of the other person. Or what exactly is the definition?

From the state regs, not the handbook/synopsis:

"Subp. 3. Party hunting. A party is a group of two or more licensed deer hunters who are afield hunting together and are all using firearms or all using archery equipment. A member of a party may kill a deer for another member of the party who has an unused tag valid for that deer, except as provided by Minnesota Statutes, section 97B.301. A mixed-weapons group is considered two separate parties. Multizone buck licensees may party hunt with regular firearms licensees. Persons issued permits under Minnesota Statutes, section 97B.055, subdivision 3, who are hunting in a lottery deer permit area and do not have an either-sex permit may not tag antlerless deer for another member of the party."

We use the idea that it is within distance of being able to contact each other visually (across a field), voice unaided or whistle. Contact the DNR for specifics. I am sure there are legal precedents from convictions that show how judges interpret "afield hunting together". It would be risky to say you are hunting together if you are both on stand, haven't seen them or heard their voice (unaided by electronics other than hearing aids) since breakfast 6 hours ago, no drivers acting to move deer to standers (hunting together component), and the distance is great enough that you must use cell phone to contact each other. Look at it this way. If you were grouse or pheasant hunting, would you consider it legal party hunting to shoot 2 limits by yourself then call your buddy who you haven't seen or heard since breakfast and who headed in a different direction? Or catch 2 limits of walleyes by yourself in the boat or fish house and then call a buddy who is fishing out of sight and unaided voice contact?

Now answer those questions consider you just shot 2 deer with only one tag on you, shot 2 limits of grouse or pheasants, or caught 2 limits of walleyes. And the Conservation officer who heard/saw you do this walks up to you right after that. Do you think the Conservation Officer (or judge) will accept you saying "I am legally party hunting (or fishing), and I can prove it. I'll call my fellow party members and they can tell you they are "afield hunting together with me"?

Or combine the fact that you can't use electronic communication to assist in the taking of deer (hunting) with the requirement that you must be hunting afield together and must be close enough to be able to communicate or signal each other without cell phone/radio while taking deer/trying to take deer.

Again, we use the idea that it is within distance of being able to contact each other visually (across a field), voice unaided or whistle. To us that is hunting together, which is a good family time together, where you get to talk to each other throughout the day (between drives or when going on stand together), or watch those in neighboring stands as they have deer go to them, or hear their voice echo thru the woods (I got it Dad!).

lakevet

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How party hunting worked for us this year: Person A has two bonus tags, person B none. Person A tells B to go ahead and shoot one doe. Person A than limits himself to one doe.

If we are hunting the opposite ends of a 40 we aren't able to see or yell to each other I sure hope we are still considered a party! By being responsible with the tags like I first mentioned it makes it very easy to avoid shooting more than your limits.

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Crow Hunter

Personally, I believe the intent of the law has been for all members of the party to be within shouting distance; the availability of cell phones and radios may have changed this. As for the use of cell phones or radios, I believe once you shoot an animal it is legal to call people and let them know because that is not aiding in taking of the game. It would be illegal however to call someone and say "a deer is coming your way, get ready" because that would be aiding in the taking of game.

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You are right on Jameson. Solid plan going into the woods.

But how many groups go in the woods with several guys, knowing there are a couple tags to fill, and the entire group is gunning for 2 deer.

Thats where things possibly get flaky. And I would bet the majority of party hunting is done that way. Everyone gunning to fill the last tag or two.

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  • 8 years later...
MnCowboy
On 12/19/2011 at 11:25 AM, BobT said:

As defined for deer hunting. There are other definitions regarding small game, doves, etc. so if you're looking for those, they can also be found in the regulations handbook.

 

 

Quote:
PARTY HUNTING

• A “party” is defined as any group of two or more licensed deer hunters

who are all afield; hunting together at the same time; and all

using firearms (including muzzleloaders) or all using archery.

• A mixed group of firearms and archery hunters is considered two

separate parties.

• Crossbow hunters may not party hunt with firearms hunters.

• Crossbow hunters may party hunt with archery hunters if they

possess an archery license with a crossbow disability permit.

• Any member of a party meeting this definition may kill a deer for any

other member of the party who has an unused tag valid for that deer.

• Some restrictions apply to 300 series deer areas. See page 80.

• Party members may not kill an antlerless deer in a lottery deer area

for: 1) a member of the party who is a resident under age 18; or 2) a

disabled person authorized to take antlerless deer under a permit to

shoot from a motor vehicle.

You mention that if an archery hunter and firearms hunter are together they are considered 2 parties. Is that the same with crossbows, which use an archery tag. Would it be considered 2 parties (and obviously could not help fill each others tags)

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On 10/21/2020 at 9:03 PM, MnCowboy said:

You mention that if an archery hunter and firearms hunter are together they are considered 2 parties. Is that the same with crossbows, which use an archery tag. Would it be considered 2 parties (and obviously could not help fill each others tags)

Wow, I posted that information almost a decade ago. Those definition points I posted are not my opinion but if I remember correctly, I believe they came from the Hunting Handbook. As I posted....

• Crossbow hunters may not party hunt with firearms hunters.

• Crossbow hunters may party hunt with archery hunters if they

possess an archery license with a crossbow disability permit.

 

I'm not aware of any change in the law since then. 

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