Hunting deer is one of the most popular activities to do in Minnesota, so much so that the state itself has become something of a rite of passage for hunters. Every year, thousands of hunters descend on the state in search of beautiful whitetail deer. Some do it for the thrill of the sport, others still hunt for the meat rather than a trophy, and for many, deer hunting is a powerful bonding experience that brings friends and family together.
Where to go for deer hunting opportunities?
Minnesota makes use of over one-million acres for deer hunting, with that acreage spread out all over the state. There are times when hunting on public land can present problems, such as too many hunters in one sport alerting wildlife to their presence, and ideal spots being claimed by early arrivals. However, the sheer amount of land available in Minnesota allows plenty of room for everyone.
The land varies significantly from region to region. If you have a preferred setting, you’ll find it here. Wilderness and prairies to the north, bluffs to the south, and other forms of terrain are scattered about and easily accessible through nearby towns and cities.
Hunters of All Experience and Skill Levels are Welcome
Because deer is so plentiful here and you have your choice of land to hunt on, Minnesota can accommodate hunters of all levels of experience.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness offers great challenge for seasoned pros. The expanse sees fewer deer, so they sometimes grow larger, making for great game. And because there’s less game and heavy coverage from trees, there are fewer hunters in the area. It requires great patience and skill to set up a stand out there, but those who do walk away with a prize earn bragging rights in the community.
Minnesota deer hunting also stands out for its bow hunting certification. A special body allows archers to hunt in especially designated areas, with a separate program established for young hunters. If you’re looking for a more traditional way to hunt and work a different set of skills in the process, get the certification and hit the trails.
Deer Hunting Season
There are separate seasons for bow, firearms, and muzzleloader hunting. Special hunts are also organized by the Minnesota DNR. See this page for information on deer hunting seasons for 2019.
For your safety and that of other hunters and surrounding communities, it’s absolutely vital that you understand current Minnesota hunting regulations. These regulations can change from year to year, so it’s important to stay updated. In general, they include:
- Hunting license – Get a license for the season you want to hunt, and a special permit to hunt antlerless deer
- Bag limit – Only one buck per year is allowed per hunter. The total number of deer you can shoot per year varies by the area
- Blaze orange – Hunters are required to wear blaze orange
- Deer registration – Site tags must be attached to the deer before they are moved. Killed deer must be registered within 24 hours after the close of the season
Get a copy of this season’s Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook to get a comprehensive look at the do’s and don’ts of hunting within the state. Of particular importance are party hunting laws and legal hunting times. Violating these regulations can put you on the wrong side of the law.
Preserving the Game
If you’re a regular hunter, you’re no doubt aware of ongoing concerns about declining deer population in many states right now. The Minnesota DNR, however, is one step ahead, having undertaken serious efforts to not only maintain the whitetail deer population but to help it grow so that hunting can continue without threatening the sustainability of the deer population.
Other Things to Do
Hunters will find more reasons to head down to Minnesota on deer hunting season. On warmer days, you can go fishing at night. Additionally, waterfowl, birds, and bears all call the area home, so if you want to change up your game, that option is certainly available to you. Just understand that it’s not a great time to go for a hike in the woods.
With all of that said, Minnesota should be on your hunting checklist. With such diverse natural surroundings, it’s practically an experience you can customize for your personal tastes, or you can make a longer trip out of your hunt and sample all different hunting locations on offer. Whatever you do, Minnesota’s hunting community will welcome you.