Minnesota hunting update

Apply for deer lottery by Sept. 5

Firearms and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer in a deer permit area designated as lottery this hunting season are reminded they must purchase their license by Thursday, Sept. 5.

Hunters who purchase their license before this date are automatically entered into the lottery for the deer permit area or special hunt area they declare.

No application is needed to take antlerless deer in permit areas with hunter choice, managed or intensive designations.

Hunters who want to participate in special firearm or muzzleloader deer hunts also need to apply for permits that are issued through a lottery, and that application deadline is also Sept. 5.

More information about designations and regulations for deer permit areas, as well as details about special hunt opportunities, is available on the DNR’s deer hunting webpage .

two dogs amid Canada geese decoys

Find hunting season dates online

On Sunday, Sept. 1, hunting begins for mourning doves, crows, snipe, sora, Virginia rail, Canada geese and bears – and that’s only the start. All the hunting seasons are listed online in the DNR hunting and trapping season calendar , as well as in the Minnesota hunting and trapping regulations .
Walk-In Access signs being posted

Walk-In Access lands open Sept. 1

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 1, hunters can access nearly 30,000 acres of private land across 47 counties in western and south central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program that pays landowners to allow hunter access.

Digital maps for individual Walk-In Access sites, along with additional property information and updates, can be found at the DNR Walk-In Access page .

burning on the Mille Lacs WMA

Give input on Mille Lacs WMA plan

The DNR is seeking public input as it revises plans for the Mille Lacs Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a popular destination for hunters located about two hours north of the Twin Cities in Kanabec and Mille Lacs counties. People can complete an online questionnaire, found on the Mille Lacs WMA page , before Monday, Sept. 16.
hunter and buck at Camp Ripley

Surplus Ripley permits available

Hunters who missed the lottery deadline for the Camp Ripley archery hunt can purchase surplus permits on a first-come first-served basis beginning at noon on Friday, Aug. 30.

Hunters who already received a permit will not be allowed to purchase a surplus permit.

Details about the hunt are available at the DNR Camp Ripley hunt page .

The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The DNR coordinates the hunt with the Central Lakes College Natural Resources Department, and the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre military reservation.

bear with ear tags

Pass on tagged, collared bears

The bear hunting season begins Sunday, Sept. 1, and the DNR asks that hunters avoid shooting research bears that are marked with distinctively large, colorful ear tags and have radio collars.

Researchers with the DNR are monitoring about 30 radio collared black bears across the state, especially in zones 27, 25 and 45, and in parts of the no-quota zone. Most of them are in or near the Chippewa National Forest between Grand Rapids and Bigfork. Others are farther north, near Orr or Voyageurs National Park. Some collared bears are also around Camp Ripley, and in northwestern Minnesota, especially near Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area and Plummer.

Photos of collared research bears and some research findings gained from them are available on the DNR bear webpage .


Feeding, attractant bans expand

The area where deer feeding and using deer attractants is prohibited will expand starting Sunday, Sept. 1, in areas of central and southeast Minnesota where CWD was detected in farmed or wild deer. Feeding and attractants increase the risk of disease transmission between animals by bringing them together in close contact, which is a mechanism for CWD spread.
young bucks sparring

Dumpsters and carcass movement

To make it easier to comply with carcass movement restrictions in southeast and north central Minnesota, the DNR is setting up dumpsters in disease management and control zones so hunters can process their deer and dispose of the remaining carcass parts. Find out what restrictions are in place for moving carcasses across the state and into the state on the carcass import and movement restrictions page. More information on dumpsters will be posted on the DNR’s CWD page closer to the season. If you are interested in partnering with the DNR to adopt, or help maintain these dumpsters, please contact Bryan Lueth at [email protected] or 651-259-5190.
duck hunting

Lifetime licenses need renewal

Lifetime license holders: Here’s a reminder that if you hunt or fish, you’re still required to obtain a free annual license each year the lifetime license is used. You can do this the same way you purchase a regular license: in person, by phone or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense .

These annual licenses are issued at no fee, except a convenience fee will be added to licenses obtained by telephone or internet. Annual authorization (renewal) of participation by the license holder helps us distribute current regulations, get accurate counts of active licensees each year and update our records.

Another important note: Lifetime license holders may see the designation show up on a new driver’s license. Even if it does appear on the driver’s license, you’ll still need to validate your license each year you intend to use it, to stay compliant with hunting and fishing regulation requirements.