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DNR offers tips and safety reminders as deer season gets underway; ACE Act signed into law, etc.

Take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay home if feeling sick, minimize stops when traveling to deer camp and wash hands often.

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A half million hunters are expected to converge on Minnesota's fields and forests during this year's firearms deer season, according to the DNR. (Video capture/ Minnesota DNR file footage)

DNR offers deer season reminders

As the firearms deer season gets underway in Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources offers a variety of tips and safety reminders for the half million hunters expected to converge on the state’s forests and fields.

“We wish all hunters a safe and successful deer season,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said in a statement. “As hunters continue Minnesota’s time-honored deer hunting tradition, there are some extra considerations this year as we prepare for deer camp.”

Sarah Strommen
Sarah Strommen, Minnesota DNR commissioner.

Hunters should:


  • Know the regulations. Read up on the regulations for your deer permit area, including how to register deer and how harvested deer must be handled and transported in certain areas to help prevent the potential spread of disease.

  • Know where your deer will be processed. If you plan to use a meat processor, contact them ahead of time to be sure they’re accepting whole deer from hunters this year. If you plan to butcher your own deer, you must properly dispose of the carcass, including the head and spinal column.

  • Be safe. Practice the four tenets of firearms safety , know how to set up and use the tree stand safely, wear a safety harness and wear blaze clothing.

  • Take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay home if feeling sick, minimize stops when traveling to deer camp, wash hands often, keep a 6-foot distance and wear a mask in indoor public spaces and businesses and in other indoor or outdoor settings if you can’t maintain physical distance from those outside of your immediate household.

  • Get deer tested if hunting in areas where chronic wasting disease has been confirmed. Invest in the health of Minnesota’s wild deer by participating in CWD testing where it is provided. Find out if the DNR is conducting sampling in the area where you plan to hunt and find out how to submit a sample.

More info: mndnr.gov/deerhunt.

– Herald staff report

DU celebrates bipartisan ACE Act

Federal bipartisan legislation signed into law last week stands to benefit important wetland habitat and wildlife conservation programs across the country, Ducks Unlimited said in highlighting America’s Conservation Act.

The ACE Act, which the president signed Friday, Oct. 30, includes several important conservation measures such as reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense Act, reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program and reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, among other provisions.

“In a year largely defined by doubt and uncertainty, we can also remember 2020 as a banner year for the conservation community,” DU CEO Adam Putnam said in a statement. “Coming on the heels of the Great American Outdoors Act, the president’s signature on the ACE Act represents yet another major victory for conservation achieved by this Congress and this administration.”

DU was “especially thrilled” to see NAWCA authorized for the first time since 2012. NAWCA is a voluntary matching grant program that leverages non-federal and federal funds for wetland restoration. Since enactment in 1989, NAWCA has conserved more than 30 million acres and created an average of 7,500 new jobs annually. Every dollar spent by the federal government, on average, receives a $3 match from program partners such as Ducks Unlimited and others. NAWCA is the nation’s most successful wetlands conservation program. Congressional reauthorization for the program was last passed in 2006 and expired in 2012.

– Herald staff report

DNR page offers deer harvest info

Curious about how many deer have been shot this fall in Minnesota? Hunters, media members and anyone interested in deer harvest data can find current numbers and harvest reports for past years on the DNR’s deer reports and statistics webpage . The webpage also features an interactive map and graph that visualizes the data.


The numbers are generated by the DNR’s electronic licensing and registration system and may contain some errors, the agency said. The data, which doesn’t include deer taken during special hunts, is typically updated every two to three business days, Monday through Friday, throughout the deer season, the DNR said.

More info: mndnr.gov and type “deer harvest reports” in the search window.

– Herald staff report

DNR restricts OHVs during deer season

Off-highway vehicles for recreational use will be restricted in some areas during the Minnesota firearms deer hunting season, the DNR said Friday in a reminder.

The restrictions, which apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads, aim to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and to minimize conflicts between deer hunters and recreational riders who may inadvertently disturb them.

“The 2020 riding season has seen many new OHV enthusiasts hitting the trails for the first time, and many of them may not be familiar with these longstanding temporary closures,” said Bruce Lawrence, recreational vehicle coordinator for the DNR. “If you know someone who’s new to riding this year, we encourage you to share this information with them.”

Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and registered off-road vehicles such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.

Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity before legal shooting time, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and after legal shooting hours.


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The restrictions take effect Saturday, Nov. 7, and continue through Sunday, Nov. 15, for the Minnesota 200 Series deer season and Sunday, Nov. 22, for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season.

More info: mndnr.gov.

– Herald staff report

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