Hunting is a favorite past-time for many Minnesotans and as with many favorite past times, some hunters like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two. This raises the question, “is it ok to drink and hunt?”
Under Minnesota Statute, a person may not take wild animals with a firearm or by archery if the individual is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. A person is considered under the influence when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more; when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more within two hours of the taking of wild animals; or the person is knowingly under the influence of any chemical compound. A person needs not be drunk in order to be found guilty of hunting under the influence of liquor; rather, they need only be under the influence to the extent that it would make it less safe for them to hunt than it would have been had they not been under the influence to any extent.
Even for those that do not wish to drink and hunt, your criminal record could prevent you from partaking in this past time. With certain limited exceptions, the following individuals are not eligible to possess a firearm:
– Persons under the age of 18
– Persons who have been convicted of or adjudicated for a crime of violence or a felony-level drug offense
– Persons who have been convicted of a nonfelony drug offense
– Persons who have been charged with a crime of violence
– Persons who have been convicted in another state of non-felony domestic assault or repeat assault
– Persons who have been convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment for more than one year
– Persons who are currently charged with a felony punishable by imprisonment for more than one year
The moral of this story is to enjoy the fall weather and time with your friends while hunting, but know the requirements and be smart about it. Make sure you are eligible to possess a firearm. If you are going to consume any liquor, be aware of the regulations and the repercussions for failing to abide by the statute. Have fun and good luck getting that trophy deer!