Minnesota’s archery deer season opens Saturday; DNR encourages hunters to make a plan

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging hunters to make a plan for archery deer season which opens on Saturday.

The DNR wants hunters to consider safety, hunting regulations, chronic waste disease and additional steps that are needed to process their deer.

Hunters may notice their deer permit area bag limit has changed. The DNR increased the bag limits or lottery permits in 28 deer permit areas (DPA) this year and reduced limits in 12 DPAs.

Bag limit changes are made based on deer populations in each DPA relative to the population goal for that permit area. Population goals are reviewed every 10 years through a process that includes public input.

Hunters should know the DPA number of the area they plan to hunt prior to buying a license and ensure they understand chronic waste disease (CWD) regulations and sampling requirements for that particular area. Hunters can use the DPA lookup tool by CLICKING HERE.

As a result of CWD’s larger footprint in Minnesota, the DNR has changed the availability of self-service sampling stations. These stations will be available during firearms deer season, and the most up-to-date locations and available times will be posted HERE.

For archery season, self-service stations will only be available in DPAs 213, 256, 257, 262, 265 and 273.

Archery hunters in DPAs located within CWD zones will have other options for submitting voluntary samples, including by appointment with DNR in some locations, through participating taxidermists and processors, and via mail-in kits.

To provide more locations statewide for hunters to submit samples for CWD testing, the DNR has expanded the network of taxidermists and processors participating in the partner sampling program.

Additionally, the DNR is piloting hunter mail-in sampling kits, which allow a hunter to submit a lymph node sample from their deer.

Finally, hunters within CWD zones can make appointments with DNR area wildlife offices to get their deer sampled by appointment.

Hunters will be required to have their deer sampled for CWD during the opening weekend of firearms season Nov. 5-6 in most CWD zones, including hunters using archery equipment during the firearms season.

To learn more about deer hunting regulations, CLICK HERE.