News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, Oct. 23

October 23, 2023

It’s easy to make a plan for a safe and successful deer hunting season

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

The Minnesota DNR’s online make a plan tool provides a comprehensive list of information hunters should consider before heading to deer camp. Hunters can walk through the steps to consider, including knowing the hunting regulations, planning for deer processing, getting their deer sampled for CWD, being safe and making the most out of their hunt. To use the online tool, all hunters need to know is the deer permit area number or DPA numbers where they intend to hunt, which they can find on an interactive deer map.

In Minnesota, archery deer season began Sept. 16 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 31. Firearms deer season is Saturday, Nov. 4, with various closing dates depending on a hunter’s DPA. Muzzleloader is Saturday, Nov. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 10.

Know the difference between white-tailed deer and elk

People sometimes report seeing elk in a wider geographical area outside of far northwestern Minnesota. Hunters need to make sure they know the difference in the field. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website has drawings and traits listed to help distinguish elk from white-tailed deer. Additionally, people are encouraged to report elk sightings in Minnesota using the online elk sighting reporting tool.

Deer hunters invited to share wildlife observations

Minnesota deer hunters can use an online log to report wildlife they see while hunting. Data from the observation logs help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 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 online log 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, 2024.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on hunting knives, elk in Minnesota

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

In a webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 25, Derek Clark of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers will discuss factors to consider when selecting a hunting knife and how to care for a knife.

In a webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 1, Connie Cox, DNR naturalist, and Blane Klemek, DNR northwest regional wildlife manager, will discuss Minnesota elk. They will share the history of Minnesota elk herds and how they are managed, including some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to hunt them.

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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