Special hunts to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources will take place this fall at several Minnesota state parks, and access to the parks will vary during these hunts, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Some parks will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits (closed to the general public). The deadlines for youth and adults to apply for a special permit to participate in the hunts—which include firearms, muzzleloader and archery options—have passed.
“An overpopulation of deer can be hard on the natural resources at the parks, so we allow occasional hunts as a way to protect the trees and native plant communities,” said Ed Quinn, natural resource program supervisor for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “We do our best to minimize the disruption to park visitors, but in some cases safety concerns require us to close—or partially close—the parks where these hunts take place.”
The DNR advises anyone planning to visit a state park between now and the end of December to go online or call ahead to check whether a hunt is planned and whether the park will be open. The DNR also advises wearing blaze orange when visiting parks where hunts are taking place. Visitors should check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive, look carefully for hunt-related signage and follow instructions.
For a list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the 2016 hunting season, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Details on which areas of each park will be affected by the special deer hunts can also be found in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park web pages at www.mndnr.gov.