Minnesota – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/21/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations
Tags: , , , ,

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Minnesota

Is the information easy to find?

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Hunting & Trapping page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The layout of the Minnesota DNR Hunting & Trapping page is a bit different than other pages that have been reviewed so far for this project, but it’s quickly navigable with mostly clear links.   The only exception to this is finding Wildlife Management Areas, which I found by following a link to ‘Accessible Outdoors,’ from that page, a link leads to “Wildlife Management Areas” which has a link to the “WMA Finder.” A link off of the main hunting page to Wildlife Management Areas would have been much more logical.  As an addition, there is an excellent page where maps of Minnesota can be accessed.

After further research, if the user backs all the way out to the hunting front page, there is a link to “Hunting Land Locations” which has the information necessary for hunters to plan a public land hunt.  This would have been better located on the sidebar internal to the hunting page.

Grade: C

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Minnesota does have a lottery system, however it is for quota hunt areas only.  The license page has links to the Deer Hunting Page, which has links to special hunts.  The PDF at the end of that chain is well over 100 pages long, and the information regarding licenses and deer hunting permits starts on page 65.  It is worthwhile to note that there are licenses available over the counter for non-quota areas, but if purchased after the start of season, there is a two-day delay before the license is legal to hunt with. So if the license is purchased Saturday morning, it is not legal until Monday.   There are also well over 100 licenses between resident and non-resident, including for some odd reason, lifetime renewals ($0.00) of many types of license. Why anyone would include a renewal of a lifetime license is baffling.

Grade: D

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident deer permits cost $26.00 for rifle, with the same fee for an archery permit.  Nonresident licenses cost $140.00 for an archery tag, and $141.00 for a rifle permit.  These tags allow one deer of either sex, but pay close attention to the zones to ensure you aren’t planning a hunt in a quota-only area.  No short term license exists for deer hunters visiting Minnesota.

Grade: B

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

Excepting possible special hunts, the hunting seasons page contains all of the information a nonresident should need to plan a hunt.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Despite the difficulty from within the hunting information listed above, there is a fantastic ‘Hunting Land Locations‘ page that can be found by backing all the way out to the front end of the DNR pages. This page includes links to Forest Legacy Conservation Areas, Wildlife Management Areas. Minnesota State Forests, and many other areas.  Many of these pages have excellent information, however some of the links are loop backs to the starting hunting information, which is very frustrating.

Grade: B

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Apparently, public land in Minnesota is becoming a popular location to set up Meth Labs. In addition to the potentially lethal experience of encountering drug dealers with small arms (picture a 9mm Glock vs. a scoped 30-06, any bets?) Chronic Wasting Disease has been detected in the wild in Minnesota in 2011.

Grade: C

Summary: Final Grade B-

Many regulations, an odd, somewhat differently designed web site, meth labs and the specter of chronic wasting disease.  Despite all of those factors, Minnesota offers a lot of public land, and a lot of options for hunters providing that the time is taken to properly research and know the factors that will affect a planned hunt.  The cost are comparable to other states, and there are antlerless optional tags that can be applied for.

States Completed: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisiana, Maine, Maryland

Massachusetts, Michigan

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