Special hunts will take place on November 3 and 4 at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park and November 10 and 11 at Lake Louise State Park to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources. Both parks will remain open to all visitors, but the DNR advises wearing blaze orange if they visit while the hunt is in progress. Visitors should check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive, look carefully for hunt-related signage and follow instructions.
Hunts also will take place at other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this fall, and access to the parks will vary. Some will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited public access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits. The deadlines have passed for youth and adults to apply for the permit to participate in the hunts, which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options.
“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for Minnesota State Parks and Trails. “When there are too many deer in a park, they feed too much on certain trees and native plants, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a way to protect natural resources.”
The DNR thanks visitors for their patience and understanding during the hunts.
For a list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the 2018 hunting season, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday). Details on which areas of each park will be affected by the special deer hunts can also be found in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park Web pages at www.mndnr.gov.