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Published November 05, 2009, 03:54 PM

Minn. DNR says deer poaching on the rise

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (AP) — Thousands of Minnesota deer hunters will go into the woods for the season opener this weekend, but many people don't wait for the season to shoot a deer.

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (AP) — Thousands of Minnesota deer hunters will go into the woods for the season opener this weekend, but many people don't wait for the season to shoot a deer.

The state Department of Natural Resources says poaching is increasing. Poachers kill hundreds of deer every year, some for fun and some for money.

Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Executive Director Mark Johnson says a large set of antlers can sell for thousands of dollars.

He says the association will ask the legislature next year to increase fines for poaching. He says if a trophy rack sells for thousands of dollars and the fine for poaching is only a few hundred, there's no economic deterrent for poachers.

DNR Enforcement Division Director Jim Konrad says it's difficult to quantify exactly how many deer are poached.

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