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Dogs chasing deer an annual problem

Reports of dogs pursuing deer this time of year is an annual problem, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "It's cold out, and deer are expending every bit of energy to stay alive, while the dog is likely frisky, full...

Reports of dogs pursuing deer this time of year is an annual problem, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

"It's cold out, and deer are expending every bit of energy to stay alive, while the dog is likely frisky, full of food, and ready to run," said Col. Jim Konrad, Minnesota DNR enforcement director.

The penalty for dogs caught chasing deer can be death. And the owner of a dog that kills or pursues a big game animal is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and is subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 for each violation. State law says any conservation officer or peace officer has the option of killing a dog that is caught wounding, killing or pursuing a big game animal.

Also, between Jan. 1 and July 14, a person other than a peace officer or conservation officer may kill the dog. The officer or person is not liable for damages for killing the dog.

The last thing a conservation officer wants to do is talk to people about controlling their dog, Konrad said.

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"If people make a little extra effort, we won't have these problems," Konrad said. "The DNR doesn't perceive this as a dog problem. We perceive it as a people problem."

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