Hunting deer with bait is illegal

Hunters are not allowed to take deer with the aid or use of bait anywhere in Minnesota. “Taking” includes attempting to take.


Corn, apples and pumpkins are common foods used to bait deer Baiting means placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering bait that is capable of attracting or enticing deer.

  • Baiting significantly increases the risk of disease transmission by concentrating animals and promoting nose-to-nose contact.
  • Baiting attracts and holds large numbers of deer on private parcels creating a privatization of the deer herd.
  • Bait piles alter a deer’s natural movement. By placing bait, one hunter can effectively nullify another hunter’s attempt to harvest a deer.

What is bait?

Bait includes grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay or other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer and has been placed by a person.

Liquid scents (example: doe in heat), sprays, salt, and minerals are not bait if they do not contain liquid or solid food products.

Read the ingredient label on all products prior to use. Many products, including newer liquid, powder and block forms, contain food or attractants such as grains, fruits, and sugar derivatives (glucose, dextrose, and fructose). If a salt or mineral product has anything other than salt or mineral in it, it is illegal to use for hunting.

Agricultural crops from normal or accepted farming, forest management, wildlife food plantings, orchard management, or other similar land management activities are not bait. This exclusion does not apply to agricultural crops that have been reintroduced and concentrated where a person is hunting.

  • Example: A person may spread an abundant agricultural crop on a previously planted field as fertilizer. However, if the fertilizer is piled or concentrated where the person is hunting deer, it is baiting.

A person otherwise in compliance with this section who is hunting on private or public property that is adjacent to the property where bait or food is present is not in violation if the person has not participated in, been involved with, or agreed to baiting or feeding wildlife on the adjacent property.

Removal of bait

All bait must be completely removed for 10 days prior to hunting. Penalties for baiting violations include revocation and confiscation.

  • A person may not obtain any deer license or take deer under a lifetime license for one year after the person is convicted of hunting deer with the aid or use of bait. A second conviction within three years would result in a three-year revocation. The revocation period doubles if the conviction is for a deer that is a trophy deer scoring higher than 170.
  • Firearms and bows used to take deer with the aid or use of bait will be seized and are subject to confiscation upon conviction. In some areas, deer feeding and attractants are banned year-round, see page 82.


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