Minnesota deer licenses on sale Aug. 1; regulation changes announced

Minnesota hunters will be able to purchase 2011 deer licenses
starting Monday, Aug. 1, the same day the state’s hunting
regulation booklet is available online at
www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Booklets will be available in
mid-August.

This year’s archery season opens Saturday, Sept. 17. The general
firearms season opens Saturday, Nov. 5. The deadline for lottery
permit applications is Thursday, Sept. 8.

“We’re looking forward to another good season,” said Lou
Cornicelli, big game program coordinator for the Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Deer populations are at or
near goals throughout much of the state.”

Cornicelli said hunters will discover several new regulations
for the upcoming deer season. The changes, he said, reflect the
agency’s interest in regulation simplification and the protection
of the state’s deer from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

Significant changes for 2011:

· A new CWD management area, called Deer Area 602, has been
established in southeastern Minnesota surrounding the area where a
CWD positive deer was detected last fall. The new CWD management
area will feature a 23-day firearm season. Submission of samples
for CWD testing will be mandatory for deer harvested in this area,
and there will be carcass import/export restrictions. Detailed
information can be found in the regulations book and on the DNR
website at www.mndnr.gov/cwd.

· A new “hunter choice” deer management designation has been
established that will allow hunters in certain areas to take one
either-sex deer per year in one of these areas. These areas
function like lottery areas, with the difference being hunters do
not need to make a lottery application or possess an either sex
permit to take an antlerless deer. In hunter choice areas, the
license is automatically valid for an either-sex deer.

· Bonus permits are not allowed. If a deer is taken in one
hunter choice area, a hunter cannot take another deer in another
hunter choice or lottery deer area. The designation was created
because the majority of deer permit areas are within their
established goal ranges, and DNR managers believe one either-sex
deer without a lottery would allow those areas to stay within goal
without going back and forth between lottery and managed areas.
Hunter choice was not created to increase antlerless harvest rates,
but rather to make it simpler to take one either-sex deer in the
area. Overall, 30 percent of Minnesota’s 127 deer permit areas are
designated hunter choice this year.

The DNR still uses the lottery in areas where antlerless deer
harvest is restricted and managed and intensive harvest
designations when additional antlerless deer harvest is needed.
This year, 27 percent are managed and 17 percent are intensive
areas.

FIREARM AND MUZZLELOADER LOTTERY EITHER-SEX PERMITS

Hunters may once again apply for either-sex or special hunt
permits in both the firearm and muzzleloader seasons. In a change
from previous years, hunters successful in the lottery can use
their permit in either the firearm or muzzleloader season, provided
they have a valid license for that season. The deadline for lottery
and special hunt applications is Thursday, Sept. 8.

Although a hunter can be selected for both licenses, successful
applicants still can only take one deer. In the case of special
hunts, a person may draw both a firearm and muzzleloader permit, in
which case they must adhere to the bag limits established by each
special hunt.

This year’s lottery deer areas are: 103, 108, 119, 234, 235,
237, 238, 250, 251, 252, 253, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280,
281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296 and
299.

OTHER CHANGES

Because deer herds are largely within goals, there will be no
early antlerless deer season this year, and no youth-only
antlerless areas available this year. The DNR will continue to
monitor harvest and population size, and may use these designations
in the future. Also, the 16-foot height restriction for permanent
deer stands has been eliminated.

Cornicelli urged hunters to familiarize themselves with 2011
regulations before the hunting season begins. Due to delays created
by the state shutdown, the hunting regulations booklet will not be
available until mid-August wherever hunting and fishing licenses
are sold, but hunters may access an online version of the
regulations at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.

Deer hunters are also encouraged to review new deer hunting
regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before
the Thursday, Sept. 8 application deadline for either-sex deer
permits in lottery areas, and for all special hunts.

Additional information about the 2011 deer season can be found
at www.mndnr.gov/deer.

Categories: Hunting News, News Archive

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