12 Minnesota State Parks to Close Temporarily This Fall for Deer Hunts

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

DNR reminds visitors to wear blaze orange when visiting state parks during hunting season.
Numerous special deer hunts are scheduled to take place at Minnesota state parks this fall. Access to the parks will vary around the state during the hunts, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Some state parks 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 a special permit to participate in the hunts, which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options.

The DNR advises anyone visiting a state park during these hunts to wear blaze orange or other brightly colored clothing. Visitors should also check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive and look carefully for hunt-related signage.

“The DNR allows these annual hunts as a way to help control the deer population at state parks,” said Ed Quinn, resource management coordinator for the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails. “When there are too many deer in one area, the native plants and animals can be negatively affected. Our goal is to ensure healthy natural communities.”

The DNR thanks park visitors for their patience and understanding at parks where access will be limited during the hunts.

Parks that will be open only to hunters with special permits (hunt dates in parentheses):

  • Afton State Park (Nov. 5-6).
  • Frontenac State Park (Nov. 7-9 and Nov. 19-20).
  • Lake Maria State Park (Dec. 3-5).
  • Lake Shetek State Park (Dec. 3-4).
  • Lake Vermilion State Park (Nov. 5-13).
  • Myre-Big Island State Park (Nov. 26-28).
  • Nerstrand Big Woods State Park (Nov. 26-27).
  • St. Croix State Park (Nov. 11-14).
  • Whitewater State Park (Nov. 19-20).
  • Wild River (Nov. 5-8).
  • William O’Brien State Park (Nov. 5-6).

Parks where some areas will be open only to hunters with special permits, but other areas will remain open to all visitors (hunt dates in parentheses):

  • Banning State Park (Oct. 29-30).
  • Big Stone Lake State Park (Dec. 3-4).
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park (Nov. 5-20).
  • Jay Cooke State Park (Dec. 3-7).
  • St. Croix State Park (Oct. 29-30).
  • Savanna Portage State Park (Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 12-16).
  • Scenic State Park (Nov. 5-20).
  • Soudan Underground Mine State Park (Nov. 26-Dec. 11).
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Nov. 5-20).
  • Tettegouche State Park (Oct. 15-16 and Nov. 5-20).

Parks that will remain open to all visitors during special hunts (hunt dates in parentheses) and parks with a portion of land open to hunters during hunting season:

  • Buffalo River State Park (Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30).
  • Crow Wing State Park (Dec. 2-4).
  • Glacial Lakes State Park (Nov. 10-13).
  • Greenleaf Lake State Recreation Area (Sept. 17-Dec. 31).
  • Hayes Lake State Park (Oct. 20-23 and Nov. 5-20).
  • Itasca State Park (Oct. 15-16, Nov. 5-13, Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4).
  • Judge C.R. Magney State Park (Nov. 5-20).
  • Lake Bemidji State Park (Oct. 15-16 and Nov. 5-8).
  • Lake Bronson State Park (Oct. 20-23 and Nov. 5-13).
  • Lake Carlos State Park (Nov. 5-8).
  • Maplewood State Park (Nov. 5-8).
  • Old Mill State Park (Oct. 20-23).
  • Schoolcraft State Park (Nov. 5-20).
  • Zippel Bay State Park (Oct. 20-23 and Nov. 5-20).

Parks that are wholly or partially open to hunting (all seasons) by legislation (whether or not they are having a “special” hunt):

  • Big Bog State Recreation Area.
  • Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
  • Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.
  • Garden Island State Recreation Area.
  • George H. Crosby Manitou State Park.
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
  • Temperance River State Park.
  • Tettegouche State Park.

Parks where no hunting will take place:

  • Bear Head Lake State Park.
  • Beaver Creek Valley State Park.
  • Blue Mounds State Park.
  • Camden State Park.
  • Carley State Park.
  • Cascade River State Park.
  • Charles A. Lindbergh State Park.
  • Father Hennepin State Park.
  • Fort Ridgely State Park.
  • Franz Jevne State Park.
  • Glendalough State Park.
  • Grand Portage State Park.
  • Great River Bluffs State Park.
  • Interstate State Park.
  • John A. Latsch State Park.
  • Kilen Woods State Park.
  • Lac qui Parle State Park.
  • Lake Louise State Park.
  • McCarthy Beach State Park.
  • Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.
  • Minneopa State Park.
  • Monson Lake State Park.
  • Moose Lake State Park.
  • Red River State Recreation Area.
  • Rice Lake State Park.
  • Sakatah Lake State Park.
  • Split Rock Creek State Park.
  • Upper Sioux Agency State Park..

Special situations:

  • The city of New Ulm is having an archery deer hunt Oct. 15-Dec. 31. Some of the deer stands are located within Flandrau State Park, but nowhere near trails or public use areas. The park will therefore remain open to all visitors during this time.
  • Although there is no hunt at Hill Annex Mine State Park, the park is only open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Details on which areas of each park will be affected by the special deer hunts will be included in the “visitor alert” boxes on the individual park website pages. Information is also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Retired2hunt's picture

  A fantastic amount of parks


A fantastic amount of parks in the state of Minnesota that are included in their wildlife management program - Wow!  This is a great form of additional means to get out and hunt.  I see nothing about special access for the disabled hunters.  I would hope that their efforts to hunt these lands is also being considered.  I also read nothing on any youth hunts in addition or prior to these park hunts.  I would hope that this also was being implemented as it allows our youth to get into more efforts in harvesting a deer during the fall seasons. 

Now what I don't understand is why a park cannot close to regular non-hunting public for a couple of days.  This would ensure the safety of the general public as well as the hunters.  I see there are some parks with a long park season.  Okay maybe then there is a need to keep it open to  the general public.  I understand as well that some of these parks are large and the hunting is occuring nowhere near the public but why not err on the side of caution here?

Anyhow - great for Minnesota hunters!