The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages firearms deer hunters to purchase their deer licenses now to avoid the rush that will occur before the general firearms deer season opener on Nov. 8.
Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator, said that because of the new system of allocating either-sex deer hunting opportunity, most hunters did not need to apply in early September for antlerless permits.
Deer license sales historically have two peaks: one right before the lottery application deadline and the other right before the firearms deer season.
Because most hunters did not need to purchase licenses early to apply for either-sex permits, this year's first peak in license sales was small. So far, only 160,000 of Minnesota's 440,000 firearms deer hunters have purchased their licenses. That means nearly 300,000 licenses will be purchased next week.
Cornicelli said hunters who wait until the last minute to purchase licenses could experience extremely long lines as well as potential slowdowns caused by high volumes of transactions. He said that could easily be avoided by purchasing licenses now.
Hunters interested in purchasing an all-season license this year must do so by Thursday, Nov. 6 if they want to hunt opening day. "The all-season license is also valid for archery, so the two-day waiting period applies at time of purchase," Cornicelli said. If you buy the license on Friday, it will not be valid until Sunday. Regular firearms hunters must purchase their license before Friday if they want to be out in the field on Saturday, Cornicelli said.
Hunters, including youth, are reminded they will need to have a Social Security number on their customer record file or provide their Social Security number at the time they purchase a deer license to meet federal requirements.
Information on the new permit system is available on the DNR's deer hunting Web site at: