Deer Opener Information Available
From The Minnesota DNR
Minnesota’s firearms deer season begins half an hour before sunrise on Saturday, November 5, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects nearly half a million hunters to participate. To assist with your coverage of the deer season, here are materials about deer hunting in Minnesota.
Firearms deer season is one of several seasons for deer hunters. Archery deer season opened September 17 and lasts through December 31. Muzzleloader deer season is from Saturday, November 26, through Sunday, December 11.
Hunters are advised to make a deer hunting plan this year – not only to buy their licenses, but also to figure out where to hunt, whether they will be providing a sample for chronic wasting disease testing, and how they will process their deer.
New for 2022
- Special CWD regulations, including mandatory disease testing and carcass movement restrictions are in effect in a number of areas.
- Deer permit area 179 is now 679 and deer permit area 261 is now 661. Both 679 and 661 have been added to the CWD management zone. See page 70.
- There are two ways for hunters to submit samples for CWD testing throughout the hunting seasons no matter where they hunt.
- The early antlerless deer season has been expanded to include more deer permit areas and the bag limit has changed from five deer to three deer. Hunters are no longer required to purchase an early antlerless permit to participate.
This season, hunters in general will have more opportunities to harvest deer because deer populations have increased in much of the state. Opportunities in southeastern Minnesota have also been increased as part of the DNR’s response to chronic wasting disease.
Hunters in north-central, northwestern and south-metro areas of Minnesota should double-check deer permit area boundaries. Some boundaries have changed due to public input during the deer population goal-setting process or in response to chronic wasting disease spread.
Safety The First Priority
Hunters should follow the three tenets of safe firearms handling: Treat every firearm as if it is loaded by keeping your finger off the trigger; always control the muzzle of the firearm; and be sure of the target and what is beyond it. Tree stand accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters, so it’s always important to wear a safety harness and follow other safety guidelines when using a stand.
CWD Management Continues
The DNR continues its aggressive management of CWD by reducing deer densities, implementing feeding and attractant bans to reduce contact between deer, and restricting carcass movement.
CWD sampling is mandatory for all deer one year and older that are harvested on the opening weekend (Saturday, Nov. 5, to Sunday, Nov. 6,) of the A firearms deer season in DPAs designated as a CWD zone. The sampling requirement applies to all CWD management, control and surveillance zones.
Exceptions: Sampling is voluntary in DPAs 213, 256, 257, 262, 265 and 273 until sampling goals are reached. Sampling stations, either staffed or self-service, will be available in these CWD surveillance zones.
Carcass movement restrictions are in effect for all CWD management and control zones.
Detailed maps and corresponding information are available in the CWD information section and on the fold-out deer map, which is distributed with the printed regulations booklet.
Test for CWD yourself. There are several options, including a free mail-in kit for hunters, to test for CWD. These options are available to all hunters – even those outside a CWD zone.
How To Get Hunting Questions Answered
Hunters can contact the DNR Information Center to get their deer hunting questions answered. Information consultants are available by phone at 888-646-6367 or email at email@example.com.
Due to the volume of email the DNR receives, people are strongly encouraged to call for immediate information, or check the DNR deer hunting page for information.
To report a violation in progress, call the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line at 800-652-9093. Information Center business hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
On the DNR website, hunters can find deer hunting information on the DNR deer hunting page, and they can join in on social media using #DeerCampMN.
Minnesota Deer And Hunting Facts
- Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 pounds, and males weigh about 170 pounds.
- A whitetail’s home range is about 1 square mile.
- The biggest white-tailed deer recorded in Minnesota was a 500-pound buck.
- Last year, 31% of Minnesota-licensed firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer.
- Seventy percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season.
- The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season.