Mountain & Trail News

    DNR to Limit Access to Some Minnesota State Parks During Hunting Season

    DNR advises park visitors to wear blaze orange or bright colors at parks that remain open during special hunts

    Special hunts to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources will take place this fall at several Minnesota state parks, and access to the parks will vary during these hunts, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

    Some parks will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits (closed to the general public). The deadlines for youth and adults to apply for a special permit to participate in the hunts – which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options – have passed.

    For a list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the 2013 hunting season, visit or contact the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or at [email protected]. Details on which areas of each park will be affected by the special deer hunts also are included in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park Web pages at

    The DNR advises anyone planning to visit a state park between now and the end of December to look online or call ahead to find out whether a hunt is planned and confirm whether the park will be open. The DNR also advises visitors to parks where hunts are planned to wear blaze orange, even if they will not be hunting. Visitors should check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive, look carefully for hunt-related signage and follow instructions.

    “These annual resource management hunts help control the deer population at state parks,” said Ed Quinn, resource management consultant for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Too many deer in one area can negatively affect native plants and the health of the ecosystem. In managing natural resources, we’re always striving for a sustainable balance.”

    Parks that will be open only to hunters with special permits (hunt dates in parentheses):

    Afton State Park (Nov. 9-10).
    Blue Mounds State Park (Dec. 7-8).
    Camden State Park (Nov. 2-3).
    Crow Wing State Park (Dec. 13-15).
    Frontenac State Park (Nov. 23-25).
    Great River Bluffs State Park (Oct. 26-27).
    Iron-Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area (Nov. 9-24).
    Lake Shetek State Park (Oct. 26-27 and Dec. 7-8).
    St. Croix State Park (Nov. 2-3, Nov. 15-18).
    Sibley State Park (Oct. 26-27, Nov. 30-Dec. 1).
    Whitewater State Park (Nov. 23-24).
    William O’Brien State Park (Nov. 9-10).

    Parks with special hunts that will remain open or partially open to all visitors:

    Banning State Park (Nov. 2-3).
    Buffalo River State Park (Nov. 9-10).
    Cascade River State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Flandrau State Park (Oct. 19-Dec. 31, see “special situations”).
    Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (Nov. 9-10).
    Glacial Lakes State Park (Nov. 14-17).
    Gooseberry Falls State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Greenleaf Lake State Recreation Area (Sept. 14-Dec. 31).
    Hayes Lake State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Itasca State Park (Oct. 12-13, Nov. 9-17, Nov. 30-Dec. 15).
    Jay Cooke State Park (Dec. 7-11).
    Judge C.R. Magney State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Lake Bemidji State Park (Oct. 19-20, Nov. 9-12, Dec. 6-8).
    Lake Bronson State Park (Nov. 9-10, Nov. 16-17).
    Lake Carlos State Park (Nov. 9-10).
    Lake Louise State Park (Nov. 16-17).
    Lake Vermilion State Park (Nov. 30-Dec. 15).
    Maplewood State Park (Nov. 9-12).
    Myre-Big Island State Park (Nov. 30-Dec. 1).
    Old Mill State Park (Nov. 9-12).
    Savanna Portage State Park (Oct. 26-27, Nov. 16-18).
    Scenic State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Schoolcraft State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Soudan Underground Mine State Park (Nov. 30-Dec. 15).
    Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Tettegouche State Park (Oct. 19-20, Nov. 9-24).
    Zippel Bay State Park (Oct. 12-13, Nov. 9-24).

    Parks that are wholly or partially open to hunting (all seasons) by legislation (plus “special” hunts, where indicated):

    Big Bog State Recreation Area.
    Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
    Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (Nov. 9-10).
    Garden Island State Recreation Area.
    George H. Crosby-Manitou State Park.
    La Salle Lake State Recreation Area.
    Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Nov. 9-24).
    Temperance River State Park.
    Tettegouche State Park (Oct. 19-20, Nov. 9-24).

    Parks where no hunting will take place:

    Bear Head Lake State Park.
    Beaver Creek Valley State Park.
    Big Stone Lake State Park.
    Carley State Park.
    Charles A. Lindbergh State Park.
    Father Hennepin State Park.
    Fort Ridgely State Park.
    Fort Snelling State Park.
    Franz Jevne State Park.
    Glendalough State Park.
    Grand Portage State Park.
    Hill Annex Mine State Park.**
    Interstate State Park.
    John A. Latsch State Park.
    Kilen Woods State Park.
    Lac qui Parle State Park.
    Lake Maria State Park.
    McCarthy Beach State Park.
    Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.
    Minneopa State Park.
    Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area.
    Monson Lake State Park.
    Moose Lake State Park.
    Red River State Recreation Area.
    Rice Lake State Park.
    Sakatah Lake State Park.
    Split Rock Creek State Park.
    Upper Sioux Agency State Park.
    Wild River State Park.

    Special situations:

    *The city of New Ulm is having an archery deer hunt Oct. 19-Dec. 31. Some of the deer stands are located within Flandrau State Park, but nowhere near trails or public use areas. The park will remain open to all visitors during this time. There is no archery or other hunting anywhere else in the park.
    **Although there is no hunt at Hill Annex Mine State Park, the park is only open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

    Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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