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Permits available for special deer hunts in 34 state parks

This year, 34 Minnesota state parks will be open for special permit archery, firearm or muzzleloader deer hunts.

In addition, bonus permits and other special hunting incentives will be in place to attract more participants to apply for special hunts.

Prior to making application for a special hunt, applicants must first purchase a deer license that is valid for the park they want to hunt. Application deadline is Sept. 6.

Hunters who wish to camp at the park hosting a special hunt will not need reservations. After Nov. 1, all camping is on a first-come, first-served basis. Some parks will be open only to hunters during the special hunt.

A special youth deer hunt is planned in October for St. Croix State Park. The application deadline was Aug. 17.

Heavy deer browsing on seedling trees during the winter can nearly eliminate regeneration of some tree species, such as pine. In addition, deer can also greatly reduce the numbers and variety of wildflowers and other herbaceous plants.

Ed Quinn, resource management coordinator for Minnesota state parks, said, "Our overall goal is to manage the deer population in the parks so that their numbers are at a level that does not negatively affect the other natural resources. In some cases, that is best accomplished through special hunts."

For an online chart of deer hunts and restrictions, check out the DNR list at or call the DNR Information Center at 651.296.6157 or 888.646.6367.