Off-road hunting rules are confounding at best

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 19, 2008 - 1:56 AM

The DNR announced rule changes Thursday designed to avoid conflicts between recreational riders and those pursuing game. Some make sense; others do not.

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  • Comments

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fishheadSep. 19, 08 6:53 AM

"The same can't be said for a law passed by the Legislature last session removing a restriction requiring OHV riders to be 20 yards from their machines before shooting at ruffed grouse. Now they can pop these birds as soon as they dismount and uncase their guns. Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, carried the bill in the House. The measure was never heard in the Senate, but won approval by a House-Senate conference committee. What a shame that the state with the best grouse hunting in the nation, and that otherwise prides itself on a population of hunters who honor in most instances not only the spirit but the letter of fair chase, would kowtow to those for whom such a regal bird is so cheaply regarded." What do you expect from David Dill? He's no friend of sportsmen. Slob hunters on wheelers might as well blast chickens in the farmyard. Where was the MN DNR when this happened? Was Holsten giving Dill a thumbs up?

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fish60Sep. 19, 08 8:46 AM

The next thing we can expect from Dill, Hackbarth, Bakk, Skoe and all the rest of the all ATV all the time misfits in the legislature is the removal of the requirement to turn off the engine and dismount the ATV before pulling a drive-by on a grouse. It will be done in a underhanded way like this crowd does all of it's dirty work. Sad.

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schmitty52Sep. 19, 08 9:15 AM

are spent by our DNR trying to put this mess together for ATV joy riders and ATV hunters gone wild?(Picture this DNR) A beautiful blue sky day with the strong scent of Fall in the air, as you silently walk the logging trail in hopes of getting off a shot at the bird with wings of thunder, only to have the silence broken by the roar of several ATV hunters machines coming up behind you. The scent of Fall replaced with the belching of gas and oil mix now surrounding you as they roar past. Day shot, attitude shot, Grouse gone! Trail rutted! I can't wait!

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juanq1Sep. 19, 08 9:30 AM

You can't hunt without consulting a legal expert anymore. Why not just announce the dates of a season in Minnesota and let everyone hunt whatever they want? For instance, you can hunt anything, anywhere from September 15-November 15. No ATV's, No exceeding daily limits and that's it. Have fun and have the lawyers go back to chasing ambulances and the DNR making sure there is good habitat and good manners in the field.

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fish60Sep. 19, 0810:23 AM

ATVs are the new cash cow for the DNR. That explains it all.

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swanmaidenSep. 19, 08 2:18 PM

LOTS!!! When you think of how this money could have been spent for things we actually need in Minnesota communities and for the benefit of the Minnesota Environment, to see these millions spent on this is a travesty. It is a very difficult question to get an answer from the DNR on. There is old data : http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/reports/trails/ohvstudy.pdf has data to 05. But : Last year not only was the gas tax increased but the PERCENTAGE going to Off Road Vehicles was raised enormously. In response to questions regarding how much this translated into for the DNR the following response was obtained by one group. "projected income figures (from unrefunded fuel taxe revenues) to the ATV dedicated account - or for any of the other motorized accounts - to reflect enactments of the 2008 legislature. You are correct that the ATV allotment was substantially increased this year, as per the 2005 Fuel Study recommendations, and that overall, the gas tax pie has gotten larger due to an increase in the statewide gas tax (for transportation purposes). Initial estimates call for an added $590K in FY 2009 and in excess of $1,000,000/year in future fiscal years, above current levels, from just the ATV percentage increase. The net effect of the broader gas tax increase, which will be phased in over a perod of years, hasn't been calculated." ATVAM was more open about their calculations. 1. Increase in ATV un-refunded gas tax from .15 to .27, adding an additional $590,000 in FY2009, $1.09 million in FY2010 and $1.12 Million in FY2011 and continue indefinitely. 2. $300,000 per biennium added to DNR Trails and Waterways Division for trail development, maintenance, and operations. 3. $70,000 per biennium added to the grant-in-aid account. 4. $370,000 per biennium for grants 5. $100,000 in one time money to make the "Moose Trail" in Hoyt Lakes, MN into a multi-use trail. It is currently a snowmobile trail, but 100,000 will be used to "convert" into an OHV-snowmobile trail. 6. $400,000 ($700,000 total OHV & Snowmobile funding) in one time money to complete two culverts for added connectivity of existing trails to the Virginia OHV Park . 7. The Forests for the Future program is a forest legacy program that was appropriated money to lessen the impact of forest parceling by acquiring conservation easements but now these easements can include ATV recreational use - how is that lessening impact?

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fishheadSep. 19, 08 7:25 PM

Swanmaiden, Thanks for the info. It sounds like the wizards in the Small Engines Section of the DNR have found away to divert money designated to acquire conservation easements that are supposed to mitigate forest fragmentation and are now going to use that money to fragment the forest with ATV trails. Is my assessment correct? Would someone who cares about the natural resources of MN PLEASE step in and take control of this agency???????????

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RichardsorSep. 20, 08 9:58 AM

Quit letting OHV riders tear up ditches ,forests , wet lands , driveways ,and anything else they please. There are SO MANY IRRESPONSIBLE RIDERS OUT THERE. Nobody cares if you use the forests , just quit wrecking them !

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worldcitizenSep. 20, 0810:47 AM

Near our cabin there are hundreds of miles of old logging roads on public land. These trails are clear, dry and require no maintenance of any kind. They are a remarkable resource for anyone who loves the woods and appreciates a ride through, including myself, retired with 2 bad knees. In 14 years I've seen 3 people on foot -hunters during the deer season, and 1 guy on an ATV on these trails. Because of a few metro politicians, the majority of these trails are now closed. No one wants damage to public land, but the focus should be on sensitive areas and the few who damage them. Blanket closure of areas that are clearly undamaged and draconian penalties creates resentment toward politicians and the people who enforce these rules.

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LilBeaverSep. 20, 08 8:12 PM

The DNR needs to just ban them ALL on ALL PUBLIC LAND. If you want to hunt, then get off your "LARD BUTT" and get a little exercise. The walk may even do you some good, if it kills you it does the rest of us some good!

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