Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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Walk-In Access lands open starting Sept. 1

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 1, hunters can access nearly 30,000 acres of private land across 43 counties in western and south-central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program, which pays landowners to allow hunter access.

Hunters with a $3 Walk-In Access validation may 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 DNR Recreation Compass.

Digital maps for individual Walk-In Access sites, along more information for hunters, are on the DNR website.

The Walk-In Access program began in 2011 and is currently funded with a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Other funding sources have come through a surcharge on nonresident hunting licenses, a one-time appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature in 2012, and donations from hunters.

Reminder: Deer lottery application deadline Sept. 9

The Minnesota DNR reminds firearm and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer in a deer permit area designated as an antlerless permit lottery to purchase their license by Thursday, Sept. 9.

Hunters who purchase their license before this date are automatically entered into the lottery for the deer permit area or special hunt area they declare.

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, and that application deadline is also Sept. 9.

More information about designations and regulations for deer permit areas, as well as details about special hunt opportunities, are available on the DNR website and in the 2021 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

Hunters asked not to shoot ear-tagged and radio-collared research bears

The Minnesota bear hunting season opens Wednesday, Sept. 1, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters to avoid shooting marked research bears.

These bears are marked with distinctively large, colorful ear tags and have radio collars.

Researchers with the DNR are monitoring about 20 radio collared black bears across the state, especially in bear hunting zones 25, 27, 45 and 451, and in parts of the no-quota zone.

The bears are in or near the Chippewa National Forest between Grand Rapids and Bigfork or near Camp Ripley.

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