Skip to main content

Gov. Dayton takes on Minnesota's 'shameful' poachers – again

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Calling poaching offensive to the "sensibilities of all ethical and law-abiding hunters and anglers," Governor Dayton on Friday proposed much tougher punishments for people who hunt animals illegally in Minnesota.

During a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) annual "Roundtable" meeting, the governor called on the legislature to enact laws which would elevate poaching crimes – currently a misdemeanor in Minnesota – to felonies, according to a news release received by BringMeTheNews.

The proposal would also see game and fish license revocations extended to up to 10 years instead of the current five-year period.

If approved, the new laws would apply to "gross over-limit violations," which DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr commented are "not accidental." They would apply to hunters who illegally take animals over a restitution value of $2,000.

For a better understanding of how that would be measured in animals, the governor's office says the "over-limit penalty" thresholds include the killing of four or more deer; two or more trophy deer; five or more bears or turkeys; forty or more ducks, geese and other fowl; and 67 or more walleye or northern pike.

According to the Star Tribune, a similar proposal from Dayton last year was ultimately rejected by the state legislature.

Nonetheless, the governor, himself a lifelong hunter and fisherman, is asking for Minnesota's "sportsmen and sportswomen to join (him) in urging the legislature to increase the penalties for these disgusting abuses.”

Poaching cases disgust Dayton

Dayton also expressed his disgust with poaching at the meeting, referring to recent instances as "shameful criminal acts" and saying “I’m offended when I see these stories about a guy who slaughtered a lot of deer and got away with it,’’ the Star Tribune notes.

This renewed push follows a November poaching case in which three northwestern Minnesota men were charged with having thousands of pounds of snapping turtle meat outside of the animal's season. He promised then that he would redouble his efforts to increase punishments for poachers.

Another high-profile incident the governor's office mentioned in their release involved the seizure of numerous guns and deer antlers after a five-year poaching probe.

Authorities said that agents seized 28 sets of antlers, four sets of elk antlers, a set of mule deer antlers, and a fully intact, untagged piebald deer in a freezer, all taken illegally. Four men were charged in the case.

Next Up

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP endorses attorney general, secretary of state candidates

Kim Crockett was endorsed as the party's candidate for secretary of state, while Jim Schultz won the endorsement for attorney general.


Volunteer firefighter identified as man killed during Thursday storms

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office confirmed that 63-year-old Ryan Erickson died when a grain bin fell on him.

Juan Ramos, standing outside of his Taco Chon Mexican Grill, in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Firm takes on case defending Taco Chon against Taco John's lawsuit

The local Mexican restaurant is fighting a case presented by Taco John's over naming rights, among other things.

Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 7.32.27 AM

Worker killed in skid loader accident was 23-year-old apprentice lineman

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative called the incident "the unthinkable."

Cascade River 1

Raging North Shore rivers overtake bridges, snap trees in half

Pedestrian bridges near the Lutsen Resort have been damaged by the vast river flow.

u.s. attorney's office

St. Paul man sentenced for 2021 robbery spree

Warren Dean, 27, admitted to robbing seven St. Paul businesses in a span of three days.


Stevens County may have been hit the hardest by Thursday storms

The entire county was without power after the storms blew through Thursday evening.

State Patrol

3 killed, 1 critical after trio of crashes in Minnesota Thursday

One person also faces life-threatening injuries in a crash that happened in Olmsted County.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 1.25.08 PM

Mora woman saves pelican caught in fishing line for days

A birthday fishing trip shapes into a heroic tale.

Kelsey Peterson in the documentary, "Move Me."

Doc depicting MN dancer's journey with paralysis debuts at Twin Cities film festival

The film surrounds St. Paul-born Kelsey Peterson, who continues to pursue her passions in dance after being paralyzed from the chest down in 2012.


Gov. Dayton, former Gov. Arne Carlson appear in new ad

A new ad against the proposed amendment that would require voters to use a government-issued ID at the polls takes a bipartisan approach. Our Vote Our Future began airing the 30-second ad Friday featuring Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, and former Gov. Arne Carlson. a Republican.