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What is, and is not, deer baiting

In an effort to cope with one of top deer season violations, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has spelled out the laws that hunters will be expected to obey and conservation officers must enforce.


• It is unlawful to hunt deer with the aid or use of bait or feed.

• It is unlawful to hunt deer in the vicinity of bait or feed if the person knows or has reason to know the bait/feed is present.

• An area is considered baited for 10 days after complete removal of all bait/feed.

• A person who is otherwise in compliance with the above, who is hunting on private or public property adjacent to the property where bait or feed is present, is not hunting with the use of bait if that person has not participated in, been involved with, or agreed to bating/feeding wildlife on the adjacent property.

• Liquid scents, salt and minerals are not bait/feed.

• Food that has not been placed by a person and resulting from normal farming, forest management, orchard management, or wildlife food plantings is not bait/feed.

Twists and turns

• There is no "baiting season," but this reference is sometimes used to refer to removing the feed/bait 10 days prior to hunting.

• It is generally not unlawful to place bait/feed, it simply means in the end that area cannot be lawfully hunted.

• Mineral blocks with apples, grain, seeds, etc. are bait/feed. Read the ingredients on the packaging; many include items that are not minerals or salt.

• Powders that are dumped on the ground are generally bait/feed, exception would be strictly minerals in the powder with no grain, molasses, or other items that are not salt/minerals.

• Salts and minerals are legal, but adding any artificial ingredients or additives to them makes them illegal to hunt over.

• Liquid spray scents are lawful to use, as long as they do not include other things that are not scents -- such as artificial flavors or solutions with grains or molasses. Check the ingredients on the packaging.

• Liquids that are poured on the ground may not be liquid scents. They generally contain other items that are not liquid scents, minerals, or salt -- such as artificial flavoring or solutions with grain. Check the ingredients on the packaging. Use of these products could be quite difficult to determine in the field.