News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, Oct. 24

October 24, 2022

Make a plan for deer hunting season

As deer hunters enjoy current hunting seasons and 400,000 hunters prepare for the opening of firearms deer season on Saturday, Nov. 5, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds them to plan ahead for a safe and enjoyable hunt.

The DNR’s online make a plan tool provides a comprehensive step-by-step list of information hunters need to consider before heading to deer camp. The tool covers topics including hunting regulations, deer processing, chronic wasting disease sampling, safety and how to make the most out of a hunt. To use the online tool, hunters need their deer permit area number, which they can find on an interactive deer map.

In Minnesota, archery deer season began Sept. 17 and continues through Saturday, Dec. 31; firearms deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 5, with various closing dates depending on a hunter’s DPA; and muzzleloader season is Saturday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Dec. 11.

Deer hunters invited to share wildlife observations

Minnesota deer hunters can use an online questionnaire to report wildlife they see while hunting. Data from the observation logs help the DNR estimate population level trends for deer and track wildlife distribution for other species across the state.

Using a mobile device or desktop computer, hunters can enter information on the DNR website about wildlife they see each day of hunting, including deer, turkeys, bears, fishers and other species. They’ll also be able to report specific information about any deer they harvest. Hunters are encouraged to fill out a report after each hunt, even if they don’t see any deer that day. The online questionnaire will be available until Jan. 15, 2023.

Know the difference between white-tailed deer and elk

Individual elk sightings are beginning to be reported in a wider geographic area outside of far northwestern Minnesota. Hunters need to make sure they know the difference in the field. The DNR website has drawings and traits listed to help distinguish elk from white-tailed deer. Additionally, people are encouraged to report elk sightings using the DNR’s online elk sighting reporting tool.

DNR webinars cover the tundra swan migration,
preserving your harvest

The DNR invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to tune in to upcoming webinars that will discuss the tundra swan migration and preserving your harvest.

The first webinar is at noon Wednesday, Oct. 26. Mary Stefanski, Winona district manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will share information on the fascinating migration of tundra swans, their life story and how people can view them up close before they head south for the year. The tundra swan migration is a highlight of the fall on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. At the peak, which usually occurs the second week of November, there can be as many as 50,000 swans on the refuge, primarily between Wabasha and Brownsville.

The second webinar is at noon Wednesday, Nov. 2. Kraig Kiger, DNR shooting sports specialist, will discuss what to do with a harvest after a successful hunting or fishing trip. The webinar will cover ways to keep a harvest and how to prepare, can or freeze meat from a harvest.

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.