As previously reported, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) opened a 60 day public comment period on October 13, 2015, for multiple proposed rules, including a misguided ban on traditional forms of ammunition in some state wildlife management areas (WMAs). The rule package also includes a proposed ban on the use of lead shot for hunting rails and snipe statewide.
The proposed regulatory mandate for WMAs in the farmland zone would impose a significant burden on many of the state’s 70,000 pheasant hunters who hunt in these areas, as well as sportsmen and women who hunt wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and other small game species on what amounts to approximately 600,000 acres of public hunting land.
As we have seen with attempts to ban the use of lead ammunition in other states, arguments in favor of these bans are based on faulty science. It is important to fully understand the facts concerning traditional hunting ammunition so Minnesotans are not misled into adopting a ban that could negatively impact the rich hunting heritage of Minnesota. There has been no sound scientific evidence stating that traditional ammunition is having a population-level impact on any species in Minnesota. To ensure proper conservation of species, wildlife must be managed with a fact-based approach.
During the 60 day comment period, it is critical that Minnesota’s sportsmen and women submit written opposition to these proposed bans informing the DNR that Minnesotans don’t agree with drastic rule changes made without sound scientific evidence. Please also request that Minnesotans have the opportunity to fully vet these rules in a public hearing. To see the entire list of proposed rules, click here. When submitting comments to DNR, please make sure to include your full name and address, as well as the rule numbers (Part 6230.0200, Subp. 14 and Part 6240.0200, Subp. 8).