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Minnesota deer hunting licenses on sale Sunday. Here’s what’s new this season

White-tailed Deer buck and doe in snow taken in southern MN in the wild

Southern Minnesota deer hunters looking forward to the season can start planning now.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resouces released its 2021 Minnesota Hunting & Trapping Regulations handbook online just ahead of opening up license sales.

Hunting licenses go on sale Sunday, August 1, and are available at any DNR license agent, by phone, at 999-665-4236, or online.  Archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept 19, while the firearms season opens Saturday, Nov 6.

The hunting regulations handbook can currently be found on the DNR website, but printed copies of the book will be delivered to hunting license vendors the first week in August.

There are a few changes in 2021, according to the DNR:

  • There’s now a five-deer bag limit in areas that were previously under an unlimited antlerless bag.
  • Mandatory sampling of deer harvested in chronic wasting disease zones will resume this year, but those zones have expanded after detection of the disease in deer, both wild and captive.
  • Name changes for bag-limit designations for clarification.  For example, the one-deer limit category is now “bucks only,”  the lottery category is now “antlerless permit lottery,” and hunter’s choice has changed to the “either-sex” category.  “Two deer limit” and “three-deer limit” have replaced the “managed” and “intensive” categories.
  • Several deer permit area boundaries in southwest & northeast Minnesota have changed based on public, tribal, and DNR input.
  • Expanded early antlerless deer season from Oct 12 to Oct 24 to include more deer permit areas in central and southeastern Minnesota.
  • Late chronic wasting disease hunts are scheduled for Dec 17 to Dec 19 and Dec 31 to Jan 2; more details will be released closer to the hunt dates.
  • The Camp Ripley archery hunt will be a single, three-day hunt from Oct 29 to Oct 31 instead of two, two-day hunts.  Lottery deadline is Aug 20.

 


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