Minnesota DNR Offers Many Youth Deer Hunts

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Five state parks, two military reservations, two refuges and a nature preserve will provide high-quality deer hunting for 490 young hunters this fall, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The deadline to apply for the Special Youth Deer Hunts is Friday, Aug. 15.

"Special youth hunts are a great way to offer a safe, structured and fun opportunity for a youngster and their parent or guardian to spend some quality time outdoors," said Jay Johnson, DNR hunter recruitment and retention program supervisor.

The DNR is offering 11 Special Youth Deer Hunts in October, four archery and seven firearms, at locations with high deer populations that need to be managed. Eligible youth may apply for one archery hunt and one firearms hunt. Youth ages 12 to 15 are eligible for the firearms hunts; youth ages 12 to 17 are eligible for the archery hunts.

Those interested may apply at any DNR Electronic License System (ELS) vendor or at the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Successful applicants will be notified in early September. Youths who applied unsuccessfully in previous years will have preference.

There is no fee to apply, although successful applicants will have to purchase the appropriate deer-hunting license prior to their hunt. The youth individual firearms and youth individual archery licenses cost $14 each and are available to residents ages 12 to 17.

There is a mandatory orientation session for each hunt, and hunters must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or an adult authorized by the parent. All youth firearm hunters must possess a valid Firearms Safety Certificate.

The following locations will host hunts:

  • * Camp Ripley and The Nature Conservancy will host archery hunts in Morrison County on Oct. 10-12
  • * Arden Hills Army Training Site will host two bow hunts during the Education Minnesota school break on Oct. 16-17 and Oct. 18-19 (cosponsored by the Minnesota State Archery Association and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association)
  • * The Whitewater Wildlife Management Area Refuge will allow youth to hunt deer with firearms during the entire Education Minnesota school break, Oct. 16-19
  • * Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Bemidji State Park and Tettegouche State Park will host youth deer hunts on Oct. 18-19.
  • * Buffalo River State Park, Savanna Portage State Park. St. Croix State Park will host youth hunts on Oct. 25-26 (cosponsored by the Bluffland Whitetails Association and the Minnesota Deer Hunters).

More information about the Special Youth Deer Hunts is available on the hunter recruitment and retention section of the DNR Web site at http://www.mndnr.gov/harr