Opening Dates Announced for 2005 Hunting Seasons

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Opening dates for many of the 2005 Minnesota hunting seasons were announced this week by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The dates are being announced now for the benefit of those who must establish vacation or hunting plans well in advance. Although these dates are tentative, pending final approval in June, it is unlikely they will change.

SMALL GAME Sept. 17 - General small game, including grouse, gray partridge, rabbits and squirrels

Oct. 15 - Pheasant

Oct. 22 - Prairie chicken opener

April 13 - Spring wild turkey (first season)

Oct. 12 - Fall wild turkey (first season) BIG GAME

Sept. 1 - Bear

Sept. 17 - Deer - archery

Nov. 5 - Deer - firearms

Nov. 26 - Deer - muzzleloader

Oct. 1 - Moose - northeast zone


TBA - Fox, raccoon, badger, opossum

Oct. 29 - Mink, muskrat, beaver, otter (North Zone)

Oct. 29 - Mink, muskrat, beaver, otter (South Zone)

Nov. 26 - Fisher, marten, bobcat


Sept. 3 (tentative) Early Canada goose

Sept. 1. - Mourning doves

TBA - Youth Waterfowl Day

TBA - General duck and goose

Sept. 1 - Rails, snipe

Sept. 24 - Woodcock

March 1-31; July 15-Oct. 15 - Crow

The waterfowl season opener will not be finalized until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service publishes proposed migratory bird hunting frameworks this summer.

The DNR will be taking comments on wildlife hunting and trapping seasons during February and March at meetings across the state. Details and meeting dates will be announced in late January. Additional details on season lengths, quotas and bag limits will be announced this summer, after the 2005 seasons are finalized.