Representative Paul Anderson (R- Starbuck) issued the following statement surrounding the use of shotgun slugs for deer hunting:
One piece of legislation that's gained attention in recent weeks is a proposal to end the shotgun slug zone for deer hunting in Minnesota. Roughly, in the areas south of I-94, rifles cannot be used during the season, while hunters in more northern parts of the state are allowed to use them. The range of high powered rifles far exceeds that of shotguns and slugs. In addition, they are more accurate, especially at longer distances.
My immediate concern is that of safety. The prairies of western and southern Minnesota are more wide open, with fewer trees and more farm land. Ammo from rifles will carry much farther, with little cover to stop an errant shot. I was surprised to learn from visiting with a DNR official that safety was not the primary reason for having a slug zone in the first place. It was to help the deer population stabilize and even increase in some areas. It was thought that since rifles are more accurate at longer distances, more deer would be harvested in areas where they were allowed.
Evidently, such thinking has changed because the DNR is now in favor of removing the slug zone in Minnesota, or at least they aren't speaking out in opposition to the move. In addition, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association is in favor of it.
There was strong support for this change in regulation last year, and it may have passed then, were it not for the pandemic changing the priorities of the Legislature. I have had calls and emails on both sides of the issue, and I can see arguments for each. Deer hunting is a long-standing tradition for many families in our state, and this is important to them.