Tags: Gun Control | hunting | Minnesota | endangered

Hunting in Minnesota: 3 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:27 PM

Minnesota has a number of game species for hunters to take advantage of bagging each year. With that in mind, there are some animals hunters may encounter in the woods that they should steer clear of as they are nongame, endangered, or protected species.

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Here are three Minnesota animals that hunters should avoid taking aim at.
  1. Eastern Spotted Skunk - The eastern spotted skunk once had a vast presence on Minnesota’s landscape with numbers near 20,000 in the early 1900s. But since that time the population has diminished to a minimum. In the last two decades only six skunks have been confirmed in the state, which has designated it a nongame animal for this reason. Popular belief is that pesticides and modern farming techniques have killed off the majority of the skunk population. Hunters should be careful not to confuse this skunk species with that of a common skunk, because the profiles of both kinds of skunks look alike. The eastern spotted skunk will be slightly smaller and has a pattern of broken up stripes upon a closer inspection.
  2. Northern Pocket Gopher - The northern pocket gopher was placed on the state’s special concern species list in 1984 and has remained there ever since. These animals are hard to find, because their lives are spent mostly underground, where they aren't seen. Hunters in forest areas are not likely to encounter this species as they consider grass and prairies their home. The state is continuing to monitor the population of the northern pocket gopher to increase their population. In the meantime they remain a nongame animal and efforts should be made to avoid these gophers should hunters encounter them or their habitat in the field.
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  4. Piping Plover - The piping plover is a small shorebird that makes its home in the Great Plains states and Great Lakes region. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working to bring back the population of this endangered species, which is federally and state protected. Hunters should avoid plovers as well as their nesting habitats, should they encounter them.
Hunters should always check with the Department of Natural Resources prior to a hunting trip to ensure no changes have been made to the game species list.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Minnesota has a number of game species for hunters to take advantage of bagging each year. With that in mind, there are some animals hunters may encounter in the woods that they should steer clear of as they are nongame, endangered, or protected species.
hunting, Minnesota, endangered
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2015-27-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:27 PM
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