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Old January 21, 2011, 08:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: December 4, 2010
Location: st paul mn
Posts: 190
legal to shoot on state land in mn?

Me and a buddy have both recently got into guns as a hobby and we've checked out a few local ranges but most are intended for specific weapons ie pistols,rifles or shotguns shooting at moving targets and its becoming too costly/time consuming to go to 3 different ranges in order to use all our guns. Unfortunately neither of us own our own land or know anyone with land. My question is is it legal for us to go onto state land and find a good clearing where we can safely shoot and have at it? I own 2 30/30 marlins a browning 12 guage a coupls misc .22's and a sigma 9mm and my friend has a small assortment of glocks an ar 15 .223 and a couple revolvers wed like to be able to stock up on ammo and go get our fix without hitting 3 ranges or breaking any laws and getting into trouble... if I posted in the wrong area I'm sorry maybe a mod can move it for me
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Old January 21, 2011, 09:02 PM   #2
Ideal Tool
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Join Date: October 6, 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Hello, zachkuby87. I don't know about MN, but here in MI it is Verboten! I too had such a thought years ago, but the DNR has purpose-built ranges..I don't use these either..too many restrictions. There are signs posted on state lands that state hunting only with target shooting.
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Old January 21, 2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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I'm unaware of any state land in Minnesota that is legal for you to use your firearms, unless of course it's hunting season, and even then it comes with certain restrictions. I would check the Minnesota DNR website and give them a call. it's better to do things legally than get caught by the DNR and have a hefty fine thrown at you as well as having your guns confiscated. I would also look for a range in town that allows all of the firearms you've mentioned.
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Old January 21, 2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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Join Date: February 20, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,073
I have done lots of shooting on public lands in MN.
The problem with many decent shooting sites is the mess left behind.
Many gravel pits are being posted because of the messes left behind.
As for the regulations, there is no shooting except for desegnated ranges etc, ten days before deer season.


• Firearms and Target Shooting: Target, skeet, trap, or indiscriminate
shooting is prohibited. A person may not possess an uncased or
loaded firearm or an uncased or strung bow, except when lawfully
taking a wild animal or by permit

• Target shooting is prohibited.

Possession of Firearms Before, During, and After the Firearms
Deer Season
(Note: This section does not apply to the Muzzleloader Season, see
page 90, except that muzzleloaders legal for deer may be possessed only by
persons with a muzzleloader or firearms deer license during that season.)
No person may possess a firearm or ammunition outdoors during
the period beginning the fifth day before the open firearms season and
the second day after the close of the season within an area where
deer may be legally taken by firearms including the early antlerless deer
season (see page 25), except:
• A person who has a valid firearms big game license in possession
may hunt big game during the open season with a firearm and
for big game.
• Possession is also legal under these conditions:
a) An unloaded firearm that is cased or in a closed trunk of a
motor vehicle.
b) A shotgun and shells containing No. 4 buckshot or smaller
lead shot or nontoxic shot.
c) A .22 caliber rimfire handgun or rifle with .22 caliber short,
long, or long rifle cartridges,
.22 magnum or .17 caliber.
d) Handguns possessed by a person with a carry permit.
e) On an authorized target range.
For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, But to us who are being saved, It Is The Power Of God. 1Corinthians 1-18
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Old January 22, 2011, 01:03 AM   #5
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Join Date: December 6, 2010
Posts: 216
Here in Arizona it is legal to target shoot with any weapon on state public land. BLM and game refuge land has restritions. We have such an abundance of large public lands, that finding a place to enjoy the hobby is quite easy. It's rather easy if one isn't thinking of it to get lost and run out of gas on our large unpopulated public lands.
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Old January 22, 2011, 01:43 PM   #6
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,188
Following up on gaseousclay's and Gbro's posts...

You can't target shoot in state-run Wildlife Management Areas or in National Wildlife Refuges... but there's a lot of other Minnesota public land that isn't restricted that way. And a good thing too, as that's where I do most of my shooting.

According to the MNDNR website, this includes state forests:

State Forests:
* Firearms may be discharged in compliance with the law on forest lands not posted closed to firearms discharge.
* Shooting ranges, where designated, have special rules. Observe postings on site.
* Firearms must be unloaded and cased bows must be unstrung and cased while in or within 200 feet of a forest recreation area (campground, day-use area, parking area, etc.). Exception: During seasons open for hunting, a person may carry an unloaded, uncased firearm or strung bow from a forest recreation area to hunt outside of the area.

Other land considered public that's OK in at least some cases includes that owned by large timber companies, and tax-forfeited land managed by counties. I'd check directly with the company or county in question, though, about whether specific parcels are open for target shooting or are hunting-only. You'll also want to get a platt book (you should be able to buy one at county government offices), which maps land ownership, to get information on which parcels of land in your area fall into the last two categories.

County land: Many northern counties manage state tax-forfeited lands. Mainly forested, these lands provide some excellent hunting opportunities. Check with your local county land department to see if it has a map of county lands open to hunting.

Industrial forest land: Potlatch, Blandin, Boise-Cascade, and several other large forest products companies own and manage lands that are open to public hunting. If the forested land is not posted, it is open to public hunting. A spokesperson at Blandin noted that in some areas, gates may be closed during certain times of the season, and that may be the case with other forest product companies.
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Last edited by Evan Thomas; January 22, 2011 at 01:58 PM.
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