News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, Aug. 21

August 21, 2023

Walk-In Access lands open Sept. 1

Beginning Friday, Sept. 1, hunters can access 29,000 acres of private land across 41 counties in western and south-central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program, which pays landowners to allow public hunting on their property.

Hunters with a $3 Walk-In Access validation can access these lands from a half-hour before sunrise until a half-hour after sunset during open hunting seasons between Sept. 1 and May 31. No additional landowner contact is necessary. All Walk-In Access sites are shown in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Recreation Compass. Digital maps for individual Walk-In Access sites, along with more information for hunters, can be found on the Minnesota DNR website.

The Walk-In Access program began in 2011 and funding sources include a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a surcharge on nonresident hunting licenses and donations from hunters.

Reminder: Deer lottery application deadline is Sept. 7

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds firearm and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer in a deer permit area designated as antlerless permit lottery this hunting season to purchase their license by Thursday, Sept. 7. Hunters who purchase their license on or before this date are automatically entered into the lottery for the deer permit area or special hunt area they declare.

Successful applicants will receive a postcard in the mail authorizing them to take an antlerless deer using their regular license in that antlerless permit lottery area. No application is needed to take antlerless deer in permit areas with either sex, two-deer limit, three-deer limit or five-deer limit designations.

Hunters who want to participate in special firearm or muzzleloader deer hunts also need to apply for permits that are issued through a lottery. That application deadline is also Sept. 7.

More information about designations and regulations for deer permit areas, as well as details about special hunt opportunities, are available on the Minnesota DNR website and in the 2023 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook, which is available online and in print by late August wherever DNR licenses are sold.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on deer season, Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to check out the summer program schedule for the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series.

In a webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 23, Todd Froberg, Minnesota DNR big game program coordinator, will discuss regulations and changes for hunters in the 2023 deer season. Froberg will also discuss deer hunting opportunities, important dates and deadlines, deer populations statewide, an overview of the deer population goal setting process, and chronic wasting disease regulations. Additionally, the webinar will include information about the Offal Wildlife Watching Project with the University of Minnesota Extension, a citizen science and research project aimed at better understanding what Minnesota wildlife species are attracted to and eat the organ meats (offal) in gut piles left from hunters field dressing deer and how offal affects wildlife food webs.

In a webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 30, the Minnesota DNR will broadcast live from the Minnesota State Fair. During the webinar, check out the DNR fish pond, visit with the DNR fish pond manager, get a behind-the-scenes view of the fish tanks, and peruse the Minnesota State Parks and Trail Center.

The Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series webinars are free and offered year-round, though registration is required. Visit the Outdoor Skills and Stewardship webpage of the Minnesota DNR website for the registration portal, more information about upcoming webinars and recordings of past webinars.

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