Deer hunts will take place at several state parks this fall

DNR advises park visitors to wear blaze orange or bright colors at parks during special hunts

Special hunts to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources will take place this fall at several Minnesota state parks. Access to the parks will vary during these hunts. 

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.

“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “When there are too many deer in a park, they tend to feed too much on certain trees and native plant communities, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a means of protecting natural resources.”

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.

“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,” Westbrook said.

For a list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the 2017 hunting season, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday). 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 webpages at www.mndnr.gov