Hunters can start planning ahead for significant changes to deer season regulations, including a youth deer season that’s expanded statewide, expanded deer feeding and attractant bans, and other updates related to managing chronic wasting disease.
“We heard a lot of support for a statewide youth deer hunting season,” said Barbara Keller, big game program leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We’re excited to make it easier for parents, relatives or trusted adults to share their hunting knowledge and traditions with the next generation of deer hunters.”
The 2019 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping regulations handbook is now available on the DNR’s deer hunting page at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer. Hunting licenses went on sale Aug. 1, and are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-646-6367, or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense.
The dedicated, statewide youth season runs from Thursday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 20, for youth hunters ages 10-17. In the past, the youth season was only available in the southeast, northwest and Twin Cities metro permit areas.
Other significant changes this year include regulations that reflect the DNR’s response to chronic wasting disease. In addition to hunters, all Minnesotans in central and southeast Minnesota should pay close attention to the deer feeding and attractant ban rule. The area where deer feeding and using deer attractants is prohibited will expand starting Sept. 1, in areas of central and southeast Minnesota where CWD was detected in farmed or wild deer.
Feeding and attractants increase the risk of disease transmission between animals by bringing them together in close contact, which is a mechanism for CWD spread.
There are several changes to deer permit area numbering this year that will clarify where CWD management and surveillance occurs. Deer permit areas within a CWD management zone, in southeast and north-central Minnesota, will now be part of a 600-series permit areas. The metro deer permit area will be renamed to 701 from 601.
The DNR is, as in previous years, enforcing carcass movement restrictions to limit the spread of disease. Hunters will also need to be aware of mandatory sampling during all deer seasons in the CWD management zones (southeast and north-central), and over the opening weekend of the firearms season in the CWD control zone (southeast, bordering the CWD management zone) and in surveillance areas (central). Full details about CWD sampling, including sampling locations, carcass movement restrictions, and management and control zones are available at mndnr.gov/cwd.
For more information on what’s new in the regulation changes, and for regularly updated deer hunting information including the DNR’s deer permit area mapping tool, visit the DNR’s deer hunting webpage, mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.