News release: Minnesota DNR announces Grand Rapids area deer hunting season protocols

August 10, 2023

Deer hunters participating in the Grand Rapids city deer hunt and in the broader deer permit area 679 should be aware of and plan for changes in harvest and hunting regulations this fall.

City of Grand Rapids special hunt

The annual city of Grand Rapids special deer hunt begins with the start of archery season on Sept. 16, continues through rifle and muzzleloader seasons, and ends on Sunday, Dec. 31. New this year, all deer 1 year or older harvested throughout the city’s special deer hunt are subject to mandatory chronic wasting disease sampling. 

Hunters have several options to fulfill the sampling requirements, including the partner sampling program through participating taxidermists, self-service sampling stations, mail-in sampling kit, or by appointment at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Rapids area wildlife office.

To date, two cases of CWD have been found in adult deer within the city limits of Grand Rapids.

Disease management and bonus permits are available for use in conjunction with the city hunt and will allow hunters to harvest up to five deer within city limits.

The city of Grand Rapids’ special hunt is administered by the Grand Rapids Police Department in partnership with the Minnesota DNR to reduce urban deer populations, the number of vehicle accidents, and damage to vegetation caused by high numbers of deer. More information about the city deer hunt and allowed hunting zones can be found on the Grand Rapids Police Department’s webpage.

Greater DPA 679

The allowable harvest for DPA 679 in the greater Itasca County area is reduced this year to one deer, either sex (commonly referred to by its former name, “hunter’s choice”). No disease management permits will be offered in DPA 679 this fall.

“Deer permit area 679 had a 32% increase in deer harvest last season, our first year of CWD sampling, and we are reducing harvest this year to avoid further reductions in the population,” said Mark Spoden, Minnesota DNR Grand Rapids area wildlife manager. “Hunter compliance with CWD sampling in DPA 679 was the highest of any area in the state and resulted in no additional CWD-positive cases. Thanks to hunters, we have good data to support a more conservative harvest this fall.” 

Mandatory sampling for all deer 1 year or older will continue this year during the opening weekend of firearms A season (Nov. 4-5), and carcass movement restrictions remain in place.

The Itasca County-wide deer feeding ban has been expanded to also include deer attractants. Deer attractants are natural or manufactured products that are capable of attracting or enticing deer, including salt, minerals, liquid food scents, or any product that contains or claims to contain cervid urine, blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluid.

Statewide regulation changes this year, including the expansion of crossbow use, changes in muzzleloader definitions, and blaze orange requirements for ground blinds, can be found in the 2023-24 hunting regulations synopsis available online now. Printed hunting regulation handbooks will be available at license agents and DNR offices later in August.

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