Deer hunting licenses can now be purchased and the 2022 Minnesota hunting regulations are now available on the DNR website <mndnr.gov/Hunting>. Print copies of the regulations will be available in early August wherever licenses are sold.
When deer hunters venture out into fields and forests this fall, they will find healthy deer populations faring well in most of Minnesota, ample harvest opportunities, and a continued commitment to managing chronic wasting disease management adaptively statewide.
“We’re excited about deer hunting this year,” said Kelly Straka, wildlife section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Hunters in 20% of our deer permit areas will have increased opportunities for harvest, and opportunities in 70 percent of DPAs remain unchanged from last year. In some areas of northern Minnesota, severe winter conditions have impacted low deer numbers, so hunter opportunity in these areas is designed to help stabilize or increase those populations.”
Minnesota has the following deer seasons:
•Archery: Saturday, Sept. 17, through Saturday, Dec. 31
•Youth and early antlerless: Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23
•Firearms: Saturday, Nov. 5, with various closing dates depending on a hunter’s DPA
•Muzzleloader: Saturday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Dec. 11
Changes for this year include:
•Eight more DPAs included in the hunt. Hunters will also have more license options for the early antlerless season.
•Increased bag limits or lottery permits in 28 DPAs, the same limits in 90 DPAs and decreased limits in 12 DPAs.
In addition to deer seasons, hunters can participate in special deer hunts. The DNR, municipalities, and organizations across Minnesota offer opportunities to hunt at special times and in areas that might regularly be closed to hunting. Participation in these hunts is limited and often requires special registration. More information is available on the DNR website <mndnr.gov/Hunting/Deer/index.html#SpecialHunts>.
Hunters can get the information they need for each DPA by using the interactive deer map on the DNR’s deer hunting page <mndnr.gov/Hunting/Deer>. By clicking within the borders of a DPA on the map, hunters can access a “make a plan” link that takes them directly to the DNR’s Make a Plan tool, where they can view the steps deer hunters in that DPA must follow to legally harvest deer. The tool also provides information for determining where and how to submit a sample for CWD testing and whether sampling is mandatory in the DPA.
Firearm and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer in a DPA designated as lottery need to purchase their license by Thursday, Sept. 8. Hunters who purchase their license by Sept. 8 are automatically entered into the lottery for the DPA or special hunt area they declare. No application is needed to take antlerless deer in permit areas with either sex, two-deer limit, three-deer limit, or five-deer limit designations.