With the Minnesota firearms deer season beginning Saturday, Nov. 5, hunters are reminded that deer stands cannot be left overnight on state wildlife management areas (WMA).
“Leaving stands overnight on these public lands is a fairly common violation,” said Capt. Jon Paurus, education programs coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “The reason for this rule is to prevent hunters from pre-empting hunting spots. At the beginning of each day, all locations on these public lands are available to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.”
Portable stands may be used on WMAs if they are removed each day at the close of shooting hours and do no permanent damage. Spikes or nails driven into trees are not allowed, but screwing or clamping devices are allowed if removed each day at the close of shooting hours.
“Hunters who use stands are reminded to always wear a safety harness, check climbing sticks or ladders for damage and always wait until safely in the stand before loading a firearm,” Paurus said.
Minnesota has 1.3 million acres of land in WMAs, and an estimated 500,000 hunters are expected to hit the woods and fields in hopes of harvesting an animal. Hunters need to be familiar with hunting regulations, which are available at any DNR license agent or online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting. License questions should be directed to the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.