By: Bureau of Law Enforcement
Welcome to the return of a Warden Wire feature launched during last year's gun-deer season -- the special edition series of Frequently Asked Questions dealing specifically with hunting. We learned from you how helpful you found this timely information during the gun-deer season. In light of your use and information needs, we are starting the feature now and during the fall hunt season. The FAQs: Special Edition - Fall Hunt will be a periodic feature. Today is the first installment of these special edition FAQs taken by the DNR Call Center and the Department of Natural Resources' conservation wardens. You will see today's edition deals with dove and bear hunting. The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The Call Center staff is happy to help you with any and all of your questions. The number is 1-888-936-7463.
Question 1: I have a couple of questions dealing with dove hunting. First, is it legal to use decoys for dove hunting? Also, I will be in a cornfield for dove hunting. Here’s my question: I need to practice my goose calling. I don’t have a goose permit but would like to practice my goose calling while dove hunting. Is this OK to do?
Answer: Sounds like you want to multi-task? To answer both of your questions, yes – both are legal. Let’s consider your first question. Doves are easy birds to decoy and it works well to use decoys. Moving on to your second question as far as the “practicing” your goose calling. It’s not illegal to practice goose calling while dove hunting -- but here’s what you need to remember. Laying yourself down in a cornfield hunting doves bears a strong resemblance to laying yourself down in a cornfield hunting geese. If contacted while hunting, consider what this might look like and how you’d explain blowing a goose call for practice purposes while only hunting for doves. Care should be taken to avoid making it appear as though you are hunting for geese.
Question 2: What license is required when shooting on a landowner’s ag damage tag for bear?
Answer: You have some choices. If you want to hunt bear on a property experiencing bear damage, you can either use your own Class A bear license/permit during the open season or you may use a shooting permit the farmer receives from the local biologist as long as you have a valid Class A or Class B bear license. Remember, the farmer does not have to provide one of his or her shooting permits to a hunter, but the farmer may opt to do so. If a person is hunting on a farmer’s shooting permit, the hunter must also possess either a valid Class A or Class B bear license. Here is a link to our damage web page with more information and a list of farms enrolled in the damage program for bear damage:
Question 3: I read in the state regulations that you cannot kill a bear cub or any adult bear accompanied by a cub or cubs. I want to know if I can harvest a mother bear or either of her two cubs as long as all are of legal size. I think the cubs may be 2 years old. Or, would this harvest be illegal because it is a mother bear with her two cubs?
Answer: An adult bear is defined as a bear that is 42” or greater in length, as measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. So, keeping that measurement in mind, if either of the smaller bears is less than 42”, they would be considered cubs. If there are any cubs (that being a bear less than 42”) with the sow, it would not be legal to kill the sow or any of the cubs. If all of the smaller bears were greater than 42” (meaning adults), it would be legal to harvest any of the group. Hunters can lay a 42” log next to their bait to help determine size.
If you have information regarding natural resource violations, please call: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay reported information to conservation wardens. Anyone who calls the Violation Hotline or provides information can remain anonymous.