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ATV uses for hunters

Published (3/13/2009)
By Sue Hegarty
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New allowances for using an all-terrain vehicle when hunting could end up in the House Game, Fish and Forestry Divisionís omnibus bill. The provisions are contained in two bills that were heard March 9 by the division.

HF150, sponsored by Rep. Tom Anzelc (DFL-Balsam Township), would let licensed hunters who are permanently disabled receive a free lifetime permit to use ATVs along designated trails when hunting small game. Currently, these permits are issued for five years.

A companion, SF221, sponsored by Sen. Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids), awaits action by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) sponsors HF1138, which also expands the use of ATVs, but when bear hunting. An ATV can now be used to transport and install hunting stands, but not to bring bait into the registered hunting area. This would bring into compliance many hunters who already are doing both at the same time, Dill said. The bill has no Senate companion.

Winter trout anglers could also gain under a section of Dillís bill that would move up the beginning date for winter lake trout season from Jan. 15 to Jan. 1. Dill said many constituents complained that the later date prohibited trout fishing during school vacation days.

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