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Special deer hunts set at several Minnesota State Parks

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is holding special hunts at several Minnesota state parks this fall in an effort to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is holding special hunts at several Minnesota state parks this fall in an effort to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources.

Access to the parks will vary during the hunts, some of which already have been held. Some parks will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits and closed to the general public.

The deadlines to apply for special permits to participate in the hunts have passed.

When there are too many of one animal or plant species in an area, it can start to throw off the balance of other species. For example, when there are too many deer in a park, they tend to feed on certain trees and native plant communities. Because of this, the DNR occasionally allows deer hunts as a means of protecting natural resources.

"These hunts are a cost-effective way for the DNR to help manage deer populations," said Tavis Westbrook, natural resource program coordinator for the DNR's Parks and Trails Division.

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In northwest Minnesota, upcoming special hunts are scheduled at the following state parks:

• Hayes Lake State Park: Special permit firearms hunt, Nov. 3-Nov. 18; limited access.

• Itasca State Park: Regular season deer hunt, Nov. 3-11; regular season muzzleloader hunt, Nov. 24-Dec. 9; limited access.

• Lake Bemidji State Park: Special permit firearms hunt, Nov. 3-6; special permit muzzleloader hunt, Nov. 30-Dec. 2; limited access.

• Lake Bronson State Park: Special permit firearms hunt, Nov. 3-11; limited access.

• Old Mill State Park: Special permit firearms hunt, Nov. 3-6; limited access.

• Zippel Bay State Park: Special permit firearms hunt, Nov. 3-18; limited access.

A complete list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the scheduled hunts is available at www.mndnr.gov/state_parks/hunting.html or by contacting the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or (888) 646-6367. The Information Center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

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-- Herald staff report

Related Topics: HUNTING
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