Minnesota deer hunting regulations have become more restrictive for 2014-15.
Deer populations in Minnesota have shown signs of decline, prompting the state’s Department of Natural Resources to adjust the hunting restrictions heading into the new fall season.
The state is divided into 128 deer permit areas, and in 69 of those, hunters need to be chosen via lottery to shoot antlerless deer. In 14 areas, only bucks will be allowed to be shot. Hunters have their choice of a buck or doe in 38 of the areas, and bonus permits that allow hunters to shoot more than one deer are available in seven permit areas, as well as through some special hunts.
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“Hunters should check the 2014 hunting regulations closely because only one deer can be harvested in 95 percent of the state,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader for the DNR, in the department’s official news release. “To shoot a doe, hunters may have to apply for a permit in areas where they haven’t in the past and, in some places, no antlerless harvest will be allowed.”
The DNR said the conservative strategy is in line with their long-term commitment to preserve the deer herds in Minnesota. Hard times this year and the next few should point to better and more ample opportunities down the road, which would trigger more liberal hunting regulations.
The antlerless permit lottery begins August 1, 2014, and entries can be purchased online until Thursday, September 4. Lottery winners are notified in October.
The archery portion of deer season starts in Minnesota on September 13, 2014, and firearm season begins November 8.
How will these changes affect your Minnesota hunting season?>