December 23, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a man who had a loaded weapon while he was concealed in a deer blind was “pursuing” deer under state law — and that he needed a hunting license.

The ruling stems from a 2011 case in which Roger Schmid was cited in Stearns County for hunting without a license, after a Department of Natural Resources officer found him sitting on an all-terrain vehicle in a camouflage deer blind during the hunting season, armed with a loaded 12-gauge, scoped shotgun.

Schmid appealed his conviction, claiming he wasn’t “pursuing” deer because he wasn’t directly chasing or tracking game.

But the Appeals Court disagreed, saying deer hunting involves entering the animal’s habitat, anticipating when a deer will come, and waiting to take a shot. While the state statute doesn’t define the word “pursuing,” the judges said intentionally intercepting and awaiting prey constitutes pursuit under state law.

“Pursuit of course can mean physically chasing, but it would be silly to limit it to that meaning, especially in the deer-hunting context,” Appeals Court Judge Kevin Ross wrote.


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