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State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 1303 - Game and Fish (Third Engrossment)
Author: Senator Matt Schmit
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Date: March 19, 2015


Section 1 [Expedited rules; game and fish] expands the expedited rulemaking authority for all fish and wildlife rulemaking.

Sections 2 and 3 [Relocation costs; acquired lands] clarify that the DNR will not pay relocation costs in a friendly condemnation and may reimburse a land seller up to $1,500 for appraisal fees.

Sections 4 and 32 [Gizzard shad harvest] allows for the use of cast nets for taking gizzard shad for bait on portions of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers infested waters if used for bait on the same water under a permit issued by the DNR.  These sections expire on December 1, 2017.

Section 5 [Posting accesses; active disease areas] allows the DNR to restrict public accesses to active disease areas by posting.

Section 6 [Citizen oversight committees; sunset extension] extends the sunset for game and fish citizen oversight committees an additional five years to June 30, 2020.

Section 7 [Compliance with federal law] clarifies that game and fish fund appropriations must be made to the commissioner, including appropriations for information or telecommunications technology projects and assets.

Sections 8 and 9 [Notice to appear in court] updates the notice sections to more closely align with the statewide uniform citation standards and a potential new records management system.

Section 10 [Prosecution of aggregated offenses] provides that multiple offenses in different counties may be prosecuted in any county in which at least one of the offenses occurred.

Section 11 [Gross overlimits of wild animals; penalty] makes a clarifying change to use one general description of a violation of law instead of listing specific illegal actions.  Requires more than one threatened or endangered wild animal to be taken, possessed, or transported, in violation of game and fish laws to elevate the penalty to a gross misdemeanor.

Section 12 [Seizure] lowers the threshold for restitution value of wild animals taken, transported, or possessed, that results in seizures of all game and fish licenses, from $5,000 to $1,000.

Section 13 [License revocation after conviction] raises a license prohibition from five years to ten years after a conviction of unlawfully taking wild animals that have a restitution value of $2,000 or more.  Lowers the threshold from $5,000 to between $1,000 and $2,000 for the restitution value of wild animals for an existing five-year license prohibition for a conviction of unlawfully taking wild animals.  This section limits the application of license revocation related to taking endangered or threatened animals to taking more than one animal.

Section 14 [Turkey licenses; landowner selection] clarifies that landowners or tenants must live on at least 40 acres in a turkey permit area to qualify for the separate selection process.

Section 15 [Residents of veterans homes] allows a resident of a veterans home to obtain a firearm or muzzleloader deer license and take antlerless deer without an antlerless deer permit.  This is from SF 1020, Bakk.

Section 16 [Feral swine] prohibits the possession, release, hunting, or trapping of feral swine.

Sections 17 and 18 [Scopes age 60 and over] allow a person age 60 or over to use a scope on a muzzleloader during the muzzleloader season.  This is from SF 722, Ingebrigtsen.

Section 19 [Possession of firearms around deer season] provides that a first violation is punishable by a warning for violating the prohibition on having certain firearms outdoors five days prior to, during, and two days after the firearms deer season, if the person is shooting at an object placed solely for target shooting. This is from SF 1033, Benson.

Section 20 [Shining law; tracking bears] allows the use of handheld artificial lights and firearms to be possessed while tracking bears shot during legal hunting hours.

Section 21 [Use of radio equipment to take unprotected animals] eliminates the need for a permit to use radio equipment to take unprotected wild animals.

Section 22 [Resident age 80 or over; deer of either sex] allows residents age 80 or over to take a deer of either sex. This is a modified version of SF 281, Bakk.

Section 23 [Feeding bears prohibited] prohibits the placement of feed to attract bears.

Section 24 [Birds causing damage] expands the use of nonlethal hazing when property damage is occurring to include all game bird species.

Section 25 [Possession of firearms; turkey hunting] allows the possession of a firearm not legal for turkey when hunting turkey when the person has a permit to carry for that firearm.

Section 26 [Setting a body-gripping trap near a road or trail] prohibits the setting of a body-gripping trap within 50 feet of the centerline of a public road or trail.  This is from SF 1070, Wiger.

Section 27 [Taking fisher, marten, and bobcat] allows the DNR to utilize a preference lottery system for selecting hunters and trappers for fisher, pine marten, and bobcat.

Section 28 [Placing traps or snares on private land; written permission] requires written permission to place traps or snares on private land of another person.  This is from SF 1325, Hoffman, and similar to SF 591, Wiger.

Section 29 [Checking body-gripping traps] clarifies that body gripping traps must be checked at least every third day.

Section 30 [Upper Red Lake rules] expands the DNR Commissioner order authority for season adjustments based on harvest, angling pressure, and population data that is currently used for Mille Lacs Lake to also include the state-managed waters of Upper Red Lake.

Section 31 [Minnow dealers and helpers; angling license] provides that minnow dealer licensees and their helpers must have an angling license in addition to a minnow dealer’s license.

Section 33 [Minnow helpers; designation] provides that only designated minnow helpers may buy or sell minnows on behalf of the licensed dealer.

Section 34 [Rulemaking; lifting spearing bans; northern pike regulations] directs the DNR to remove the remaining spearing bans on all but one of the remaining lakes, and modify the protected slot limits for northern pike.

Section 35 [Youth bear license refunds] allows the DNR to issue refunds for certain youth bear license issued.

Section 36 [Pilot program; series 300 area] allows landowners of farmland suffering crop damage in SE Minnesota to receive five antlerless licenses that may be transferred to another person.  This section also provides for a DNR Web site to connect farmers with crop damage to connect with deer hunters.  This is from SF 1549, Schmit.

Section 37 [Revisor instruction] directs the Revisor of the Statutes to remove the patented trade name “conibear” from Minnesota statutes and rules. 

Section 38 [Repealer] repeals the following statutes and rules: 

M.S. 97A.475, Subd. 25 – License fees, muskrat farms; and 

M.R. 6264.0400, subparts 27 and 28 – Northern pike experimental and special management waters).



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