It’s not often big changes are made in state deer hunting regulations. But when they are, the effects are generally widespread. This year, Minnesota has decided to legalize scopes for muzzle-loading rifles.
According to Dave Orrick with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, he recognizes it’s a big shift in policy. “For years, Minnesota regulations had clung to a traditionalist view of muzzleloaders — that a hunter must take aim by peering down the barrel, with no telescope-like magnification to help,” Orrick said. “Only in recent years were scopes allowed to be used for older hunters or those with impaired vision, while many enthusiasts pushed for more relaxed rules. Scopes are already allowed for all hunters in Wisconsin and a growing number of other states.”
Many deer hunters in the state still believe scopes shouldn’t be allowed for primitive firearms. However, others disagree. And the new change will be implemented.
Most states that have muzzleloader seasons today also allow scopes. So, looking at the big picture, Minnesota is behind the times. That said, there’s something to be said for sticking to tradition for all of these years.
It was stated that the Minnesota DNR has largely refrained from entering the debate, despite the lead role it plays in wildlife management. But it has admitted their goal is to manage the population, regardless of the method(s) used to achieve those goals.
How do you feel about the news? Are you glad scopes will now be allowed? Or were you part of the opposition? Let us know in the comments below.
Whitetails make the hunting world go round. Josh Honeycutt, deer hunting editor and "Brow Tines and Backstrap" blogger, knows a fair bit about killing mature deer. He was raised up hunting the river bottoms of Kentucky. And he still hunts there—among other places—to this day.
Follow along as he shares his adventures, experiences and knowledge of the white-tailed deer.