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Minnesota

Hunting

Deer Special Hunts

Public land access: In addition to Wildlife Management Areas, some State Parks, Scientific and Natural Areas, and other public lands will be open to hunting. Those with limited permits will be available on a first-come, first serve basis from license vendors beginning December 3. Permits will be available until the limit for the hunt is reached or until the Tuesday before the hunts begins (December 14 or 28), whichever occurs first. There is a limit of one of these special permits per hunter. The permit is required in addition to a hunting license and is no cost. A state park pass is required for vehicles.

Area Is there a limit on hunter
numbers?
Is a permit required for
access?
Notes
Rushford Sand Barrens SNA No No
Savage Fen SNA No No Archery only
Cannon River Turtle Reserve SNA No No Open portions located in DPA 605 are open
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park Yes Yes
Pin Oak Prairie SNA Yes Yes
Great River Bluffs State Park and Kings and Queens SNA Yes Yes Hunt is by permit only with Great River Bluffs State Park
Beaver Creek Valley State Park Yes Yes
Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area No No Archery only
Carver Rapids Unit
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge No No Special regulations online at fws.gov/refuge /minnesota_ valley/
Vermillion Highlands WMA
NA NA Closed to public hunting due to scheduled special hunt.
Special Hunts
Application deadline for special youth hunts
August 20
Application deadline for special firearm and muzzleloader hunts September 9

To apply for special firearms and muzzleloader hunts, you must purchase a deer license. Participation in a special hunt does not preclude hunters from taking a deer in a regular deer permit area, although statewide bag limits and license requirements apply. Hunters in deer permit areas designated as antlerless permit lottery must choose between applying for an antlerless deer tag or a special hunt, they cannot apply for both.

Permits

Special hunt permits are required to hunt deer in places where the number of hunters must be limited to control the harvest or for safety.

Special hunt permit areas are listed on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

Those who receive a special hunt area permit may also hunt deer outside that special hunt area during the season indicated on the license. Parties of up to four may apply.

The DNR strongly encourages the use of non-lead ammunition in state park special hunts.

Earn-a-buck regulations

Some special hunts have earn-a-buck regulations, which require the harvest of one or more antlerless deer before the hunter can take an antlered deer. Details on these rules are available from the hunt administrator or online at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

Special firearm deer hunts

The complete list of special firearm deer hunts including updates and corrections
is available online at mndnr.gov/deer. This online list includes additional hunt details including contact information. Bonus permits may be used to tag deer in special hunts where antlerless deer may be taken. Any deer harvested as part of a special deer hunt should be registered using the special hunt number, if assigned. Secondarily, hunters should use the surrounding Deer Permit Area number.

How to apply for archery special area permits

An application for an archery special area permit must be made on a form supplied separately by each special hunt area. No other form of application will be accepted. Send your request for an application form to the hunt administrator listed for the special area where you wish to hunt or as directed. A person may apply for more than one archery special hunt area, but not more than once for
a specific hunt. There may be restrictions regarding applications. Please read material carefully before applying.

Please refer to the website mndnr.gov/hunting/deer for details and hunt administrator contact information. All questions related to archery special hunts should be directed to the municipality or area conducting the hunt.

Prior to submitting an application, please check with the location you are interested in hunting. Different special hunt areas have different regulations such as requiring bonus permit use, taking an antlerless deer first, written permission, and/or proficiency tests.

Any deer harvested as part of a special deer hunt should be registered using the Special Hunt Number, if assigned.

Archery Special Hunt Areas

Area name Hunt No. No. of participants Dates Bag limit Hunt type CWD sampling Additional information
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 895 5 Oct. 23 - Nov. 7 2 Earn-a-buck Voluntary except mandatory on opening weekend of firearms seasons Lake Tamarack Unit; apply online at z.umn.edu/TamarackHunting
City of Two Harbors 896 25 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 2 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Andy Aug; 218-310-6869; thmnbowhunt19@ gmail.com, apply by Aug. 15
City of Blue Earth 897 26 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 3 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Mandatory orientation; Tharen Haugh; 507-526-5959; thaugh@becity.org
City of Aurora 898 15 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 3 Either-sex Not applicable Mandatory test/orientation, Sept. 9, Stefanie Dickinson; 218-229-2614; cityclerck@ci.aurora. mn.us, apply by Aug. 18, fee $15
City of Lake Benton 924 40 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 2 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Eileen Christensen; 507-368-4641 ext. 1; benton@itctel.com, apply by Aug. 27, fee $15
Pin Oak Prairie Scientific and Natural Area 926 8 Sept. 18 - Dec. 16 5 Either-sex Mandatory DNR Wildlife, 507-796-3284; donald.ramsden@state.mn.us, apply by Sept. 2
Camp Ripley Military Reservation 971 2500 Oct. 29 - 31 2 Either-sex Not applicable Dr. Bill Faber, 800-933-0346 ext. 8082; wfaber@clcmn.edu, apply by Aug. 20, fee $14
Carleton Game Refuge 972 40 Nov. 25 - Dec. 31 5 Earn-a-buck Mandatory Hunters must obtain written permission; Arboretum Director; 507-222-4543, apply by Oct. 2
City of Austin and J.C. Hormel Nature Center 973 50 Oct. 16 - Dec. 31 3 Earn-a-buck Mandatory Mandatory orientation; Kevin Nelson; 507-433-1881; kevinn@ci.austin.mn.us, apply by Sept. 10, fee $20
City of Warroad 974 10 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 5 Either-sex Not applicable Wade Steinbring; 218-386-2053; PoliceChief@warroadmn.org, apply by Sept. 9
Vermillion Highlands Wildlife Management Area 975 20 Sept. 18 - Oct. 29, Dec. 13 - 31 5 Either-sex Mandatory Mandatory orientation; Contact DNR wildlife office for details, 651-322-4643; dnr.state.mn.us/wmas/units/vermillion_highlands.html
City of New Ulm 976 56 Oct. 9 - Dec. 31 3 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Jeff Hohensee; 507-359-8235; Jeff.Hohensee@co.brown.mn.us, apply by Sept. 7, fee $20
City of Red Wing 977 Unlimited Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 5 Either-sex Not applicable Red Wing Public Works; 651-385-3655; shawn.blaney@ci.red-wing.us; red-wing.org/518/Deer-Hunt-Program, fee $20
City of Redwood Falls 978 20 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 2 Either-sex Not applicable Paul Parsons; 507-401-0469; bucknrut68@yahoo.com; apply online at ci.redwood-falls.mn.us/permits, apply by Aug. 2, fee $20
Carver Rapids and Thompson Ferry Units of the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area 979 Unlimited Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 Unlimited Either-sex Voluntary except mandatory on opening weekend of firearms seasons David Olsen; 651-259-5774; david.olsen@state.mn.us Limited to Carver Rapids and Thompson Ferry Units south and east side of Minnesota River
City of Duluth 980 400 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 3 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Mandatory orientation; Arrowhead Bowhunter’s Alliance; bowhuntersalliance.org; apply by June 30, fee $25
City of Mankato 981 40 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 5 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Mandatory orientation; Justin Lundborg; 507-387-8397; jlundborg@mankatomn.gov
City of Granite Falls 982 10 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 1 Antlerless only Not applicable Mitch Brovold; 320-313-3125; mbrovold@ granitefallspolice.com, apply by Sept. 1
City of Ortonville 983 30 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 5 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Ortonville City Clerk; 320-839-3428; finance@ cityofortonville.org, apply by Aug. 2, fee $20
City of Canby 984 20 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 2 Either-sex Not applicable Chris Picard/Brock Smith; 507-223-7295; chris. picard@co.ym.mn.gov, apply by Aug. 31, fee $5
City of Bemidji— NE Lake Bemidji 985 45 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 5 Either-sex Voluntary Bobbi Karpinski; 218-759-3562; Bobbi.Karpinski@ ci.bemidji.mn.us, apply by July 30, fee $10
City of Bemidji (West) 985 33 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 5 Either-sex Voluntary Bobbi Karpinski; 218-759-3562; Bobbi.Karpinski@ ci.bemidji.mn.us, apply by July 30, fee $10
Bemidji Regional Airport 986 20 Oct. 1 - Nov. 30 5 Either-sex Voluntary Bobbi Karpinski; 218-759-3562; Bobbi.Karpinski@ ci.bemidji.mn.us, apply by July 30, fee $10
Greenleaf State Recreation Area Archery Hunt 987 Unlimited Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 1 Either-sex Not applicable Open to archery deer hunting following general archery season regulations. No special permit required. No bonus permits allowed. Kristy Rice (DNR), 320-234-2550, ext. 225, kristy.rice@ state.mn.us
City of Tower 988 10 Nov. 27 - Dec. 31 5 Either-sex Not applicable Mandatory orientation Sept. 22; Terri Joki-Martin; 218-753-4070; deputyclerk@cityoftower.com, apply by Aug. 25, Fee $20; Portions of Soudan Underground Mine and Lake Vermilion State Park included in hunt.
City of Owatonna 990 36 Oct. 24 - Nov. 21, Nov. 22 - Dec. 19 5 Earn-a-buck Not applicable Mary Jo Knudson; 507-774-7364; maryjo.knudson@ci.owatonna.mn.us, apply by Sept. 17, fee $20
City of Hallock 992 5 Sept. 18 - Oct. 22, Oct. 23 - Nov. 26, Nov. 27 - Dec. 31 2 Antlerless only Not applicable Mike Docken; 218-843-3434; mdocken@so.co.kittson.mn.us, 5 permits available for each of three hunt periods. Apply by Sept. 1
Side Lake Community 996 40 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 3 Either-sex Not applicable Mandatory orientation Sep. 8; Bill Schuster 218-969-6799; bischust@gmail.com, apply by Aug. 18, fee $20
River Bend Nature Center 997 35 Oct. 16 - 17 2 Earn-a-buck Mandatory Mandatory orientation; Brittany Smith 507-332-7151; archeryhunt@rbnc.org, apply by Sept. 1, fee $40
City of Red Lake Falls 998 10 Sept. 18 - Dec. 31 1 Antlerless only Not applicable Brad Johnson; 218-253-2996; bjohnson@sheriff.co.red-lake.mn.us, apply by Sept. 1

Firearm Special hunt Areas

Area name Hunt No. No. of participants Dates License Bag limit Hunt type CWD sampling Additional information
Itasca State Park 287 Unlimited Nov. 6 - 14 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable Open to firearm hunting deer during the firearm (A) deer season. No application required. Includes Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA
Carver Park Reserve 930 110 Nov. 13 - 14 A or B 5 Either-sex Voluntary Mandatory orientation Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., Lowry Nature Center, Non-toxic ammunition only. No pistols. threeriversparks.org/page/deer-hunts
Cascade River State Park 900 100 Nov. 6 - 21 A 1 Either-sex Not applicable Does not include Butterwort Cliffs SNA
Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge 901 40 Nov. 13 - 21 A 1 Either-sex Not applicable Deer stands for hunters with disabilities are only available during a special hunt Oct. 7 - 10. Contact Walt Ford at 218-768-2402 x100 walt_ford@fws.gov
St. Croix State Park 902 350 Nov. 18 - 21 A 2 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Lake Louise State Park 903 25 Nov. 13 - 14 A 5 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Gooseberry Falls State Park 904 55 Nov. 6 - 21 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park 905 30 Nov. 6 - 21 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Tettegouche State Park 906 125 Nov. 6 - 21 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Scenic State Park 907 15 Nov. 6 - 21 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Hayes Lake State Park 908 50 Nov. 6 - 21 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Lake Bemidji State Park 909 30 Nov. 6 - 9 A 2 Earn-a-buck Mandatory No additional information
Zippel Bay State Park 910 75 Nov. 6 - 21 A 3 Earn-a-buck Not applicable No additional information
Judge Magney State Park 911 75 Nov. 6 - 21 A 1 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Schoolcraft State Park 912 Unlimited Nov. 6 - 21 A 1 Either-sex Not applicable Hunters must posses either-sex permit for DPA 179 to take antlerless deer
Lake Carlos State Park 913 20 Nov. 6 - 9 A 1 Antlerless only Not applicable No additional information
William O’Brien State Park 914 50 Nov. 13 - 14 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Lake Bronson State Park 915 30 Nov. 6 - 14 A 2 Earn-a-buck Not applicable No additional information
Maplewood State Park 916 100 Nov. 6 - 9 A 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve 917 40 Nov. 6 - 14 A or B 5 Earn-a-buck Mandatory Mandatory orientation Oct. 19; Scott Hagen, 952-891-7983, scott.hagen@co.dakota.mn.us
Beaver Creek Valley State Park 918 25 Nov. 6 - 7 A 3 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Glacial Lakes State Park 919 20 Nov. 11 - 14 A 1 Antlerless only Not applicable No additional information
Zumbro Falls Woods Scientific and Natural Area 920 12 Nov. 6 - 14 A 3 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Lawrence Unit of the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area 921 25 Nov. 13 - 14 A 2 Either-sex Voluntary No additional information
Old Mill State Park 922 10 Nov. 6 - 9 A 1 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Zumbro Falls Woods Scientific and Natural Area 923 12 Nov. 20 - 28 B 3 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Vermillion Highlands Wildlife Management Area 925 20 Nov. 6 - 19 A or B 5 Either-sex Mandatory Hunter orientation required prior to permit issuance. Contact DNR wildlife office for details 651-322-4643
Whitewater State Park 927 50 Nov. 20 - 21 B 3 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park 928 50 Nov. 6 - 8 A 2 Earn-a-buck Not applicable No additional information
City of Grand Rapids 931 Unlimited Nov. 6 - 21 A 3 Either-sex Not applicable Hunters must apply
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park 933 75 Nov. 6 - 7 A or B 3 Either-sex Mandatory Park is open to visitors during hunt
Whitewater State Game Refuge 934 100 Nov. 20 - 28 B 2 Antlerless only Mandatory Must complete orientation packet by Nov. 17; Whitewater WMA; 507-796-3282; jaime.edwards@state.mn.us
Frontenac State Park 940 60 Nov. 20 - 21 B 3 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Great River Bluffs State Park 962 50 Nov. 20 - 21 B 3 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Franz Jevne State Park NA Unlimited Nov. 6 - 21 A 3 Either-sex Not applicable Open, no special permit required. Follow regulations for deer permit area 105

Muzzleloader Special Hunt Areas

Muzzleloader special hunt areas

Special muzzleloader deer hunts (apply wherever hunting licenses are sold by Thursday, September 9.)

The following are special hunts open during the muzzleloader season. The complete list of special muzzleloader deer hunts including updates and corrections is available online at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer. Bonus permits may be used to tag deer in special hunts where antlerless deer may be taken.

Any deer harvested as part of a special deer hunt should be registered using the Special Hunt Number, if assigned. If no special hunt number is assigned, hunters may use the surrounding Deer Permit Area number.

Area name Hunt No. No. of participants Dates Bag limit Hunt type CWD sampling Additional information
Schoolcraft State Park 179 Unlimited Nov. 27 - Dec. 12 1 Either-sex (DPA 179) Not applicable Hunters must possess an either-sex permit for DPA 179 to take antlerless deer
Itasca State Park 287 Unlimited Nov. 27 - Dec. 12 2 Either-sex Not applicable Open to muzzleloader hunting during the statewide muzzleloader deer season. No application required. Includes Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary Scientific Natural Area (SNA)
Sakatah Lake State Park 894 15 Dec. 4 - 5 3 Antlerless only Mandatory No additional information
McCarthy Beach State Park 929 15 Nov. 27 - Dec. 12 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park 930 50 Dec. 4 - 5 5 Earn-a-buck Mandatory Includes Prairie Creek Woods SNA
Rice Lake State Park 932 20 Dec. 4 - 5 3 Antlerless only Mandatory No additional information
Jay Cooke State Park 935 80 Dec. 4 - 8 2 Either-sex Not applicable Includes part of Hemlock Ravine SNA
Crow Wing State Park 936 25 Dec. 4 - 8 2 Either-sex Voluntary No additional information
Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park 937 25 Nov. 27 - Dec. 12 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
City of Tower 938 20 Nov. 27 - Dec. 12 5 Either-sex Not applicable Mandatory orientation Sept. 22, Terri Joki-Martin; 218-753-4070, deputyclerk@ cityoftower.com
Myre-Big Island State Park 939 50 Dec. 4 - 5 2 Antlerless only Not applicable No additional information
Sibley State Park 942 60 Nov. 27 - 28 2 Antlerless only Not applicable No additional information
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve 943 40 Dec. 4 - 12 5 Earn-a-buck Mandatory Mandatory orientation Oct. 19, Scott Hagen 952-891-7983, scott.hagen@co.dakota.mn.us
Vermillion Highlands Wildlife Management Area 944 20 Nov. 27 - Dec. 12 5 Either-sex Mandatory Hunter orientation required prior to permit issuance. Contact DNR wildlife office for details: 651-322-4643
City of Grand Rapids 946 Unlimited Nov. 27 - Dec. 12 3 Either-sex Not applicable Hunters must apply
Lake Bemidji State Park 947 30 Dec. 3 - 5 2 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information
Savanna Portage State Park 948 30 Nov. 27 - Dec. 5 2 Either-sex Not applicable No additional information
St. Croix State Park 949 100 Dec. 1 - 5 2 Either-sex Mandatory No additional information