News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, Sept. 26

September 26, 2022

Hunter walking trails provide access to public hunting in northern Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources maintains hunter walking trails as easy ways to travel by foot through wildlife management areas, state and federal forests, and other public hunting lands. Hunter walking trails wind through prime habitat for ruffed grouse, woodcock, wild turkey and deer. There are more than 600 miles of hunter walking trails meandering throughout the northern half of the state. Many of the trails are gated, allowing foot traffic only.

The DNR offers a hunter walking trail tool that provides information on trail locations by name and county. Hunters can also call area wildlife offices for information about the trails or hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities and tips.

Ways people with disabilities can search for hunting opportunities

Hunters with disabilities can learn more about hunting opportunities by visiting the DNR website — information about accessible hunting, fishing, camping and more is available on the Accessible Outdoors page.

Public land open to public hunting includes wildlife management areas. A subset of WMAs have an online accessibility sheet that provides greater detail on the services and facilities for people with disabilities, including photos and maps. Interested hunters can also call the area wildlife manager for an update on current conditions at WMAs.    

Fall turkey hunting opens soon

The Minnesota fall turkey hunting season offers hunters a challenge and another way to experience the outdoors in October. Fall turkey season is open from Saturday, Oct. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 30.

Hunters are allowed to take one turkey of either sex during the fall season. Fall turkey hunters may use a crossbow, firearm or archery equipment afield; however, hunters who also are hunting deer with legal bows and arrows may only use a legal bow and arrows, not a crossbow.

Fall turkey licenses are available for purchase online, by telephone by calling 888-665-4236 or in person anywhere DNR licenses are sold. More information about fall turkey hunting is available on the DNR website.

Statewide youth deer season returns Oct. 20-23

Minnesota’s youth deer season will take place statewide Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. The season coincides with statewide teacher workshops, so many Minnesota students don’t have school during the youth season.

To participate, youth must be 10-17 years old and have a deer license. Participant numbers are not limited and there is no special permit, so parents should purchase or obtain a regular deer hunting license for the youth who will be hunting.

An adult parent, guardian, or mentor must accompany youth ages 10-13. All hunters and mentors, regardless of whether they are participating in youth deer season, must follow blaze orange/pink clothing requirements. Adults may not hunt, unless they are in an area open during the early antlerless season and have the corresponding license. Complete youth season details are available on the DNR youth deer hunting page.

Early antlerless-only deer season is Oct. 20-23

Hunters can participate in an early antlerless-only deer season from Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. The season increases opportunities for hunters in areas where deer populations are above population goals or where there is an increased risk of chronic wasting disease. Permit areas open during the hunt are 209, 213, 214, 215, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 225, 227, 229, 236, 240, 277, 341, 342, 343, 604, 605, 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 661 and 701.

The DNR offers this opportunity to hunters in an effort to manage local deer herds. In changes this year, the bag limit has been reduced from five to three antlerless deer and hunters are no longer required to obtain an early antlerless permit to participate in the early antlerless season.

To participate, hunters must hunt in one of the 28 open deer permit areas and use a deer license that matches the weapon used during the season (for example, using a firearm for a firearms season license or archery equipment for an archery license). Hunters have the option of using their regular season parent license or can use early antlerless permits, bonus permits, or disease management permits (only in 600 series permit areas) to fill the limit. Deer hunting regulations are available in the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

DNR webinars cover North Shore birding, the secretive fisher

The DNR invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to tune in to upcoming webinars that will discuss birding on the North Shore of Lake Superior, and fishers.

The first webinar is at noon Wednesday, Sept. 28. Lake Superior and the North Shore create a natural funnel that birds follow during their annual fall migration. Margie Menzies, education program director with Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, will discuss fall bird migration near Lake Superior and the observatory’s fall bird count.

The second webinar is at noon Wednesday, Oct. 5. Learn about fishers, secretive members of the weasel family found in Minnesota forests. John Erb, wildlife research biologist, and Blane Klemek, wildlife manager, will cover fisher life history, management and harvest opportunities.

The webinars are part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series. The webinars are free but registration is required. More information is available on the outdoor skills and stewardship page of the DNR website.