First-come, first-served special permits for specific public lands sold out in two hours; other public lands available for hunting
Hunters must receive permission from landowners to hunt on private land for the upcoming special deer hunts in southeastern Minnesota, on Friday, December 21 to Sunday, December 23 and Friday, December 28 to Sunday, December 30, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The hunts take place in deer permit areas 603, 347 and 348, and portions of deer permit areas 343 and 345 that are south of Interstate 90. The majority of this special-hunt area is private property.
A limited number of special permits were available for hunters in Forestville State Park and Pin Oak Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, but all 270 permits were sold out within two hours of release.
Hunters still can find places to hunt. The Cherry Grove Blind Valley Scientific and Natural Area, which adjoins the Cherry Grove Wildlife Management Area, will be open to deer hunting and does not require a special permit for entrance. Additional public land can be identified using the DNR’s Recreation Compass tool at mndnr.gov/maps/compass; public lands open during the regular season are open during the special hunts. Hunters should be aware that, because this land is limited, it may be crowded.
These special hunts are one step the DNR is taking to act quickly in an effort to contain chronic wasting disease (CWD) while it is relatively concentrated in a geographic area. Reducing deer numbers in this area helps lower densities and remove CWD-positive animals.
Hunters must plan ahead and should check the DNR’s website at mndnr.gov/cwd for complete details about the special hunts, hunt rules and considerations, station locations for registration and CWD sampling, carcass transport restrictions, a map of the hunt area, and information about the DNR’s efforts to keep Minnesota wild deer healthy.