The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds waterfowl hunters that some fields are considered baited and off limits to waterfowl hunting.
Due to the wet and cold spring, some farmers were not able to plant a normal crop for harvest. Instead they worked with their insurance companies or the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Service office to plant a cover crop.
“These cover crops were never intended for harvest and are now being disced, tilled or plowed. The food sources such as oats, which were a common cover crop, are now an attractive food source for ducks and geese,” said Lt. Dean Olson, DNR enforcement district supervisor in Rochester. Olson noted these fields are considered baited and off limits to waterfowl hunting.
Federal regulations define a baited area “as any area on which salt, grain, or other feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, if that salt, grain, or other feed could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them.”
“Any such area will remain a baited area for 10 days following the complete removal of all such salt, grain or other feed,” Olson said.
Hunters are encouraged to talk with the farmers about fields prior to hunting to assure none of them were planted as a cover crop.
Find more information on waterfowl hunting on agricultural lands.