News release: Some off-highway vehicle trails, access routes in state forests will close to recreational use during firearms deer hunting

October 23, 2023

Recreational use of off-highway vehicles will be restricted on some state forest trails and access routes during the upcoming firearms deer hunting season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The restrictions — which do not apply to state forest roads — aim to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and avoid potential conflicts between deer hunters and riders.

Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and registered off-road vehicles, such as four-wheel drive trucks. Visit the OHV trail closures webpage of the DNR website for specific closure information.

Licensed deer hunters may still travel these routes on an OHV during the following time periods in conjunction with their hunting activity:

  • Before legal shooting time.
  • From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • After legal shooting hours.

Effective dates of the recreational riding restrictions will be:

  • Nov. 4-19 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer permit areas (see the 2023 deer season map to view deer permit areas).
  • Nov. 4-12 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer permit areas.

OHV trails in southeastern Minnesota close on Nov. 1 each year, so no additional OHV riding restrictions are necessary in that area.

“Recreational OHV riding has become a year-round sport for many people, but it’s important to keep safety as the top priority during deer hunting season,” said Joe Unger, Minnesota DNR OHV consultant. “We thank everyone in advance for their attention to safety when visiting state forests this fall.”

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