Outdoors: Spinning decoys won't be banned
Doug Smith, Star Tribune
May 22, 2005 DOUG0522
Restrictions on the use of motorized waterfowl decoys in Minnesota will be expanded -- but the controversial fake ducks won't be banned -- under compromise legislation expected to pass the Legislature on Monday.
Also under a game and fish bill hammered out Saturday by a House-Senate conference committee, anglers will be able to keep only one walleye over 20 inches daily, kids 12 and younger will be able to hunt wild turkeys with an adult, and permanent deer stands on public lands will be considered public property -- not the property of the person who built it.
The House and Senate are expected to approve the bill Monday, the last day of the regular legislative session. Most of the new laws would go into effect Aug. 1.
The most significant change will be for waterfowl hunters.
All motorized decoys, including those with spinning wings and others that splash, paddle or shake to mimic a live duck, will be prohibited on all waters in the state for about the first eight days of the hunting season. Previously, only spinning-winged decoys were restricted during the beginning of the waterfowl season, only on public waters and only for the taking of ducks. The new law also prohibits their use for hunting geese.
Motorized decoys also will be banned the entire hunting season on state wildlife management areas."It makes the early season more uniform and enforceable across the state, and it provides some areas for people to go who want to use traditional hunting techniques -- places where there won't be spinning-winged decoys," said Ed Boggess, Department of Natural Resources fish and wildlife policy section chief.
Decoys that move with the help of wind or lines pulled by hunters would be allowed. The law also allows the DNR to restrict motorized decoys on individual bodies of water, though Boggess said there are no current plans to do so.
The House had proposed a complete statewide ban on motorized decoys, but the Senate version was much less restrictive. The so-called spinning-winged decoys have been controversial because some question whether they violate "fair chase" ethics and because they have been shown to be especially effective during certain times and conditions.
Minnesota DNR officials have been concerned that their use could harm the state's resident mallard population. Minnesota had sought earlier to ban them throughout the Mississippi Flyway, but there was no support from most other states. Arkansas is going to ban their use this fall.
The walleye restriction changes the current law, which allows anglers to keep one walleye over 24 inches as part of the daily bag limit and reduces that to one walleye over 20 inches. The intent is to improve the average size of fish caught, because more larger fish will have to be released.
Permanent deer stands also have been controversial. The House version of the bill would have prohibited walls or roofs on stands built on public lands. That language was dropped in the conference committee, but Boggess said existing regulations prohibit such elaborate stands on state forest lands.
The new wording simply says permanent blinds on public lands are public property. DNR regulations have long stated that, but now the wording will be in state statutes.
Youngsters will be able to start turkey hunting earlier. Kids under 12 will be allowed to hunt turkeys if they are supervised by an adult parent or guardian. Currently turkey hunters must be at least 12 years old, and those 12 to 15 must possess a firearms safety certificate. Those certificates aren't valid for kids under 12.
The bill also:
• Extends the ice-fishing season another week to the last Sunday in February.
• Prohibits waterfowl decoys from being left unattended on public waters for more than four hours.
• Gives veterans special preference for some hunting license lotteries.
• Classifies willow cats and stonecats as minnows to allow them to be used as fishing bait.
• Prohibits people from training hunting dogs on public lands from April 16 to July 14, when birds are nesting.
• Allows hunters to take big game with a .30 caliber M-1 carbine cartridge.
• Allows a person totally blind to use laser sights to hunt when assisted by a physically capable person.
• Extends the potential length of the pheasant season to Jan. 3.
• Prohibits computer-assisted remote hunting.
The Audacity of Bull Crap.
"Typical: Gun-loving, bitter bible-thumping white person" Barack Obama.
Hey I resemble that comment!!! Those are FIGHTING WORDS!!!