Great River Bluffs State Park Deer Hunt

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An over-abundance of deer at Great River Bluffs State Park in Winona and a low number of requests for special hunt permits for the park has prompted the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to extend the availability of special hunt permits to any hunters who have a valid 3B season license.

"Although 100 permits for the antlerless only hunt have been made available," said John Wilzbacher, manager of Great River Bluffs State Park, "to date, less than 20 hunters have obtained one for the special hunt being held in the park Nov. 20 - 22 and Nov. 26 - 28."

According to Gary Nelson, DNR area wildlife manager at Winona, an aerial survey conducted last winter found approximately 200 deer were using the park. "That's too many and we need to thin the herd," Nelson said. "We're really hoping to get more hunters to participate."

Wilzbacher added that the high deer population threatens the park's natural habitat. "That many deer can take a heavy toll on the vegetation in certain areas," Wilzbacher stated. "We need to get the population under better control. We hope we can do that with a special hunt in the park."

To obtain a free permit for the hunt at Great River Bluffs State Park, hunters who have a valid 3B season license can request a permit by mail or pick up a permit in person at the park from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If a permit is being requested by mail, hunters should include their name, address and 3B license number. For more information, contact the park at (507) 643-6849 or write to: Great River Bluffs State Park, 43605 Kipp Drive, Winona, MN 55987. Any bonus licenses applicable to this zone also can be used for this hunt.

A state park vehicle permit is required if hunters use their vehicle within the park. A park daily permit is $7. The state park annual vehicle permit is $25. It is valid in all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for one year from the month of purchase.