Let us say that as a Minnesota resident, you know a few hunters and decided to try hunting yourself.

You had all the necessary gear, the proper permits and licenses. You packed up the car and were off before dawn, but you should have left that bottle of whiskey behind.

Learning the ropes

As a novice hunter, you worry about making a mistake, so you were diligent in studying hunting rules and regulations. For example, because you were born after 1979, you had a firearms safety certificate, which allowed you to acquire a license to hunt with a firearm. You knew how to legally transport a firearm and that you were not permitted to fire a shot from your vehicle. You felt confident in your knowledge of regulations when you entered the woods on a chilly fall morning. One situation you did not account for was the long, boring, cold wait for game birds to appear. You made that wait more bearable with a few too many sips of alcohol.

The consequences

In your first outing as a hunter, you were only drinking to keep warm and pass the time until your quarry appeared. Instead, the game warden appeared. The game warden arrested you on suspicion of hunting while intoxicated, and subsequent testing confirmed that your blood alcohol concentration level exceeded the legal limit. Now you face fines, an order for community service and even the possibility of jail time. You may lose the right to possess ammunition and a firearm, and you may also lose your hunting privileges.

Next step

Following an arrest for hunting while intoxicated, explore your legal options at once. Your state and federal rights are in jeopardy, and the goal of your defense team will be to see those rights restored to you. You did not foresee such an abrupt end to your first season, but you have learned one more rule of the hunt to add to those you already studied.