Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Minnesota hunting seasons to open soon; DNR offers helpful reminders

Minnesota’s dove, rail and snipe seasons – the first small game
hunting seasons of the fall – will open Thursday, Sept. 1,
according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
(DNR).

The state’s sandhill crane and early goose seasons open Sept. 3,
followed by the small game and archery deer seasons on Saturday,
Sept. 17. The duck season opens Sept. 24, the pheasant season Oct.
15, prairie chicken (by permit only) Oct. 22 and the statewide
firearms deer season on Nov. 5. Youth waterfowl day is Sept. 10.
Take a Kid Hunting Weekend is

Sept. 24-25.

“Before long, the crisp mornings and the sight of orange- or
camo-clad hunters will be common again,” said Dennis Simon, DNR
wildlife chief. “Hunters should take a good look at the regulation
book this year as a number of season, bag limit, and other changes
have been implemented in the name of opportunity and
simplicity.”

The 2011 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook is available
online at mndnr.gov. Copies soon will be available wherever hunting
licenses are sold.

Simon said ruffed grouse, waterfowl, and deer numbers look good
this year. Pheasant numbers, he predicted, will be down from last
year. This is due to mortality from last winter’s deep snow and
tough winter roosting conditions, plus a protracted cool, rainy
spring that reduced survival rates of newly hatched chicks.

Other information hunters should know:

· Walk In Access (WIA) program: Lands enrolled and posted in this
new program will be open to public hunting from Sept. 1 through May
31.

· Take a Kid Hunting Weekend: This annual event will coincide with
duck season opener. Adult residents accompanied by a youth under
age 16 may hunt small game without a license or Minnesota waterfowl
stamp on Sept. 24-25.

· Sandhill cranes: The state’s second sandhill crane hunting season
will open Sept 3. It is limited to the northwest goose zone in
northwestern Minnesota. A valid small game license and sandhill
crane hunting permit ($3) are required. The agency is preparing a
sandhill crane management plan to guide the bird’s future
management in Minnesota. This will include identifying any
additional crane breeding monitoring or assessment needs.

· Chronic Wasting Disease: CWD’s presence in southeastern Minnesota
has prompted several regulatory changes, including the creation of
a new CWD management area called Area 602. Deer harvested in this
area will be subject to mandatory sampling for certain deer, as
well as additional transportation requirements.

· Hunter Choice: This new deer area designation will allow hunters
to take one either-sex deer without having to enter the either-sex
deer permit lottery or possess an either-sex permit.

· Apprentice Hunter Validation Program: This program, which
previously allowed a one-year exemption from firearms safety
certification, has been changed to allow a two-year
exemption.

· Handgun possession: The possession of a handgun by a person
authorized to carry and possess other firearms not legal for big
game is allowed while muzzleloader hunting.

· Early antlerless deer season: This season is not being offered
this year. If necessary, it will be offered in 2012.

· Deer stands: The 16-foot height restriction for elevated stands
has been removed.

· Site Validation coupons: These will be required for trappers
harvesting fisher, pine marten and river otter.

· Bear baiting: Drums may be used on private land.

A complete calendar of hunting and fishing season openers, closings
and lottery application deadlines is available online at www.mndnr.gov.

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