Jay Cooke among 34 Minnesota state parks to hold special deer huntsThe Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued a reminder that deer hunts will take place this fall in 34 state parks for those who have received special deer hunt permits.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued a reminder that deer hunts will take place this fall in 34 state parks for those who have received special deer hunt permits.
Most parks holding a special hunt will remain open to the public. However, DNR officials strongly suggest visitors wear blaze orange while they are in a park and take care to remain within the designated no hunting areas.
For safety reasons, public use of some parks will be restricted. These restrictions will range from closing trails or areas of the park, to restricting use of the park to special hunt permit holders only.
The hunt in Jay Cooke State Park will take place Nov. 24-28. The campground, River Inn and Swinging Bridge areas of the park will remain open to the public. The rest of the park will be open to hunters only.
PICK UP A MAP AND WEAR BLAZE ORANGE
Visitors who plan to use the park during the special hunt event should stop at the office when they arrive to pick up a map of the no-hunting zones in the park and remember to wear blaze orange. Maps of these zones will also be posted in various locations in the park.
Visitors might also consider choosing an alternate park nearby for recreation if a special hunts is being conducted at the park they had planned to visit.
SPECIAL HUNTS AS A RESOURCE MANAGEMENT TOOL
The DNR Division of Parks and Recreation annually holds a number of special hunts in order to manage the deer population. While this effort has been relatively successful overall, there are some parks where a combination of factors, such as mild winters and undersubscribed hunts, has allowed deer populations to expand beyond acceptable levels.
“Deer are part of the natural communities that we seek to preserve or restore in state parks,” said Ed Quinn, resource management coordinator for Minnesota State Parks. “When deer populations in an area become too high, however, they can have significant impacts on native plant and animal communities. Our overall goal is to manage the deer population in the parks so that their numbers are at a level that does not negatively affect the other natural resources. In some cases, that is best accomplished through special hunts.”
For more information on special hunts, call the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) or visit the state park pages to view the online chart of deer hunts and restrictions at www.mnstateparks.info.