Early antlerless deer hunting open in 3 southeast Minnesota areas

Three small areas of Winona and Houston counties that have high deer densities will be open to an early antlerless deer hunt Thursday, Oct. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 20, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

Two portions of deer permit area 346 will be open as well as one portion of permit area 345. Hunt areas are detailed online and on the large, fold-out deer map included in the 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

“While the overall deer permit areas are at or near established population goals, there continue to be localized areas where deer densities need to be reduced to desired levels,” said Leslie McInenly, the DNR’s big game program  leader. “This year’s more limited early antlerless season will be evaluated as an additional management tool to reduce deer densities on a local level.”

Only antlerless deer may be taken, and hunters may use up to five early antlerless permits.  Deer harvested during the special season do not contribute a hunter’s statewide limit during the regular season. Early antlerless permits cost $7.50 for residents and may be purchased wherever hunting licenses are sold.

All deer harvested during this season must be tagged with an early antlerless permit. Hunters must also have a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader license and harvest a deer using the method for which they are licensed.

The antlerless hunt coincides with the four-day special youth deer season.