Camp Ripley archery hunts

DNR coordinates the annual archery hunts at Camp Ripley with the Central Lakes College Natural Resources Department and the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre military reservation.

Concerns about the potential transmission of COVID-19 transmission among hunters required the following changes to 2020 hunts:

  • There is no longer a lottery for the Camp Ripley archery hunt. Permits go on sale at noon on Friday, Aug. 28, and must be purchased by Friday, Oct. 2. Permits are available online or wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
  • Youth special archery hunts at Camp Ripley and Lake Alexander Park Reserve have been cancelled.

Where to stay

The interior or a room offered at Camp RipleyCamping in the designated area at Camp Ripley is free.

If you're looking for something different and have not made arrangements for a place to stay, please take advantage of the housing available at Camp Ripley.

Reservations for housing may be made no more than two weeks prior to your hunt. Contact Camp Ripey Billeting at 320-616-3140 for availability, room rates and to make reservations.

Purchasing a permit

  • Starting noon on Friday, Aug. 28, hunters may purchase a hunt permit online or in person.
  • Download the hunt information packet.
  • There will not be a preference lottery.
  • Group applications will not be allowed.
  • Permits will remain on sale as long as they are available, or until Friday, Oct. 2.
  • Permits cost $14. Additional transaction and convenience fees may be applied depending on how the application is made.
  • Hunters will need to use surplus permit code 677 for their purchase and then choose from one of two hunt dates:
    • Thursday, Oct. 15, to Friday, Oct. 16 (code 668) or
    • Saturday, Oct. 31, to Sunday, Nov. 1 (code 669).
  • A person may only purchase a permit for one time period.
  • Hunters also must buy or already possess a valid archery license to participate.
  • Resident hunters 21 and older must provide a valid state driver’s license or public safety identification number.
  • Non-resident hunters must apply using a valid driver’s license number, public safety identification number or DNR number from a recent Minnesota hunting or fishing license.
  • All applicants must be at least 10 years old prior to the hunt.
  • Anyone at least 12 years of age and born after Dec. 31, 1979, must have a firearms safety certificate or other evidence of successfully completing a hunter safety course to purchase an archery license.

Permits & bag limit

  • The bag limit for this year’s hunt is two, of which only one may be a buck. Bonus permits may be used to take antlerless deer.
  • DNR will issue 2,000 permits for each two-day hunt on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Hunters may not purchase multiple permits.
  • DNR will mail hunt permits, hunt rules and additional instructions to purchasers by the first week of October.
  • Those not receiving their permit and information packet by Friday, Oct. 9, should contact the DNR license center at 651-297-1230 and download the information packet.
Hunt rules
  • Camp Ripley hunt map

    Hunting not allowed in areas with diagonal red stripes
    Download map

    License & special hunt permit: You must have a valid archery license and special hunt permit in your possession to enter and hunt at Camp Ripley, and must carry your license and hunt permit with you while hunting. Non-hunters are excluded, and pre-hunt scouting is NOT allowed. Permits are not transferable to anyone else. Archers may be checked for legal permit and license in the hunting area.
  • Only deer may be hunted: The bag limit for this year’s hunt is 2 deer, of which only one may be a buck. Your regular archery license is valid for either sex. Bonus permits may be used to take antlerless deer. Party hunting is allowed. Since Camp Ripley is a Statutory Game Refuge all other wildlife species are protected and may not be taken.
  • Deer registration: All deer taken MUST be presented and accessible to hunt staff for inspection at the Check Station. NEW THIS YEAR: When presenting your deer, please remain in your vehicle and hunt staff will greet you. You MUST exit the hunt area by 7:30 p.m. each night, except on the last day of the 2nd hunt when you must exit by 6:30 p.m. Tracking & recovery assistance will NOT be provided.
  • Avoid hunting around closed areas: DO NOT GO INTO ANY CLOSED AREA SHOWN ON THE MAP! IF A WOUNDED DEER ENTERS A CLOSED AREA, YOU LOSE THE DEER! DO NOT PASS BEYOND ANY CLOSED BARRIER, GATE, OR WARNING SIGN FOR ANY REASON – ENTERING CLOSED AREAS PRESENTS SIGNIFICANT RISK OF DEATH OR BODILY HARM AND CONSTITUTES TRESPASS. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AT ALL TIMES AND TO TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS. Closed areas are well posted. Violators of this rule will have their bows seized and court appearance arranged by DNR Officers.
  • Duds: Anyone attempting to disturb or remove any military equipment will be prosecuted. This includes all types of armaments and ammunition. Report all DUDS found to the hunt Check Station or Military staff and DO NOT HANDLE. Mark duds with string or flagging on nearby vegetation, and obtain coordinates if using a GPS unit.
  • Weapons: Bring only legal archery equipment. Crossbows are allowed if you are 60 or older, or with a valid permit. Firearms are not allowed. Bows must be unstrung, cased or contained in the trunk of a car when being transported.
  • Littering in the hunt area is strictly prohibited and subject to penalties: This includes flagging/marking tape, which must be removed on the final day of your hunt. IF YOU PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT!
  • Alcohol use: Alcohol is permitted in the camping area only. Hunting while intoxicated is unlawful. Per Camp Ripley rules, absolutely no alcohol is permitted in the hunt area. Alcohol found in the entry-line during morning check-in, or in the hunt area will be seized, and those found using alcohol in the hunt area may be escorted off base and have their hunt permit revoked at discretion of military security.
  • Vehicles must be in designated camping and parking areas or in the double entry-line overnight: Saving places or butting in the double entry-line is NOT allowed. Do not block roads or trails anywhere on base.
  • Speed limit: The speed limit is 25 MPH. If you are caught speeding you may be escorted off base and have your hunt permit revoked at the discretion of military staff. Road conditions may be extremely poor during wet weather (travel at your own risk). Stay on the main roads if you are not driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Deer attractants prohibited: These substances may not be used at Camp Ripley. Deer attractants are natural or manufactured products that are capable of attracting or enticing deer, including any product that contains or claims to contain cervid urine (example “doe in heat”), blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluid.
  • ATVs & tree stands: ATVs and permanent tree stands are NOT allowed. All personal property (including portable stands) MUST be removed each night. Stands left overnight may be used by anyone, and may be confiscated by DNR officers.
  • Radios & cell phones: Per state law (M.S. 97B.085, Subd. 1) radio devices MAY NOT be used to assist in taking deer. However, use of 2-way radios and cell phones for safety is allowed & encouraged.
  • The Commissioner of Natural Resources may close the season without prior notice if violations of the above regulations occur.
Hunt summaries
2020 archery hunt

Summary

Download
Permits issued2,293
Bag limit2; bonus permit allowed
Hunters participating1,864
Total successful hunters298
Total deer harvested310
Hunter success rate16.0%
First weekend
Hunters   Deer
Oct. 15610   Oct. 1539
Oct. 16518   Oct. 1638
Second weekend
Hunters   Deer
Oct. 311,254   Oct. 31153
Nov. 11,079   Nov. 180
Deer harvested
Male   Female
Adult150 (48.4%)   Adult115 (37.1%)
Fawn14 (4.5%)   Fawn31 (10.0%)
2019 archery hunt

Summary

Download
Permits issued2,639
Bag limit2; bonus permit allowed
Hunters participating2,137
Total successful hunters269
Total deer harvested278
Hunter success rate12.6%
First weekend
Hunters   Deer
Oct. 17595   Oct. 1746
Oct. 18550   Oct. 1820
Second weekend
Hunters   Deer
Oct. 261,542   Oct. 26136
Oct. 271,336   Oct. 2776
Deer harvested
Male   Female
Adult103 (37.1%)   Adult82 (29.5%)
Yearling34 (12.2%)   Yearling19 (6.8%)
Fawn20 (7.2%)   Fawn20 (7.2%)

Volunteers who worked checking deer during the hunt

Central Lakes College natural resource program staff manning the check station at the Camp Ripley Archery Hunt on Oct. 27, 2019. Left to right: Bill Faber, Isaiah Guida, Carl Bakkila, Hailey Owen, CeCe Ketterling, Amanda Olson, Donald Carlson, Mak Lokken, Eddie Johnson, and Jonah Ploof. The hunt is administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Central Lakes College Natural Resource Program and the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs.
Photo courtesy of Central Lakes College.