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Omnibus bill clears first hurdle

Published (3/7/2008)
By Nick Busse
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The 2008 omnibus game and fish bill cleared its first hurdle March 3 when the House Game, Fish and Forestry Division approved it and referred it to the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

The bill, HF3547, sponsored by Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake), comprises a package of numerous proposed policy changes relating to hunting and fishing laws.

Some highlights of this year’s bill include:

• increasing the cock pheasant bag limit to three per day after the 16th day of the pheasant season (this measure was included in last year’s game and fish bill but was removed in a conference committee);

• allowing crossbow hunting of bear and turkey during their respective regular firearm seasons;

• allowing anglers to use two lines simultaneously;

• creating a “conservation angling license” that would cost two-thirds the price of a regular license, allow license-holders to take up to one-half of the normal fish possession limits, and be valid for 14 consecutive days;

• requiring the Department of Natural Resources to submit a report to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2009, evaluating the effectiveness and necessity of the state’s uncased firearms laws;

• allowing youths who will turn 12 during the calendar year to obtain a license to hunt big game;

• forbidding hunters from taking deer by archery while in possession of a firearm;

• permitting the use of scopes on muzzle-loading rifles to hunt deer;

• creating a $52 all-firearm season deer hunting license allowing hunters to take two deer, only one of which may be a buck; and

• changing “one-over” walleye and northern pike limits from daily taking limits to possession limits.

There is no Senate companion.

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