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City of Cloquet tweaks in-city bow hunt ordinance

Low numbers and liability concerns have caused the city of Cloquet to go back to the drawing board on the ordinance allowing bow hunters to shoot deer within specified areas inside the city limits.

"Last year wasn't as successful as we'd hoped," Police Chief Wade Lamirande told Cloquet City Council members in a workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 7. "I think we had four people hunting and two deer harvested."

Lamirande told councilors part of the problem was liability concerns of landowners who must give permission for hunters to hunt on their land.

"People have hunted without formal permission in these places for years, but when they asked for formal permission, it gets denied because of liability," he said.

Lamirande said they've had requests from landowners and hunters to hunt in areas not identified in last year's ordinance and suggested that the council give him and the police department the authority to approve individual requests that meet all the qualifications outlined in the city code. The council gave its approval to the plan.

Essentially, the ordinance requires hunters to adhere to all existing bow hunting rules and regulations established by the state of Minnesota and allows bow hunting only in areas of the city specifically designated by the city council and/or approved by the Cloquet Police Department. Hunters must apply for a permit in writing through Police Chief Lamirande, and the application must include the purpose for requesting the permit, the type of bow to be used, the legal description of the land on which the hunter desires to hunt, and the signature of the owner or owners of that land. A processing fee will also be required.

Further, the chief of police reserves the right to deny a permit application if bow hunting in the proposed area is deemed a safety hazard. The police department may also limit the number of permits issued for any one designated parcel of land.

Only portable stands or blinds will be allowed and they cannot be located within 50 feet of the border of the permitted land without the permission of the adjacent landowner.

No bow hunting will be allowed within any park or industrial park in the city unless specifically allowed; and no bow and arrow can be discharged within 250 feet of any dwelling or other building. Hunting will also be prohibited within 500 feet of any property owned by the Cloquet School District or within 100 feet of any publicly maintained city trail or improved public roadway.

No hunting of bears with a bow and arrow will be allowed, and the use of ATVs for bow hunting is prohibited. Hunters must pay for any damage to the property of another resulting from their actions.

In addition, the new ordinance states that a hunter must first harvest one antlerless deer prior to being allowed to harvest an antlered buck, though harvesting more than one antlerless deer is encouraged. Hunters who are successful in taking a deer must report that fact to the Cloquet Police Department within 24 hours as well as to the Department of Natural Resources.

The Minnesota bow hunting season for deer, by which the Cloquet city ordinance abides as well, begins this Saturday, Sept. 18, and lasts up until Dec. 31.

For a map of the zones where deer hunting is currently allowed within the city of Cloquet, go to or contact the Cloquet Police Department at 218-879-1247.