Except as provided in subdivision 2, a person may not take a wild animal, except fish, within a state game refuge. A person may not carry within a refuge:
(1) a firearm unless the firearm is unloaded and contained in a case, or unloaded and broken down; or
(2) an uncased bow.
(a) The commissioner may allow hunting of a protected wild animal species within any portion of a state game refuge, including a state park. Hunting may be allowed under this paragraph only if the commissioner finds:
(1) the population of the species exceeds the refuge's carrying capacity;
(2) the species is causing substantial damage to agricultural or forest crops in the vicinity;
(3) the species or other protected wild animals are threatened by the species population; or
(4) a harvestable surplus of the species exists.
(b) The commissioner may allow hunting of unprotected wild animals in a game refuge.
(c) The commissioner may prescribe rules for any hunting allowed within a refuge.
(d) In any selection process for permits to take deer within a game refuge, the commissioner may designate a certain number of permits that are available only to applicants who are age 70 or over or are qualified for a special permit under section 97B.055, subdivision 3, or 97B.106.
The commissioner may issue special permits, without fee, to the owner or lessee of privately owned land within the boundaries of a state game refuge for trap or target shooting.