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Jay Cooke Park closed during hunt

During a special muzzleloader hunt to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources, Jay Cooke State Park will be closed Dec. 1-5 to all visitors outside of the campground, office and River Inn areas. The swinging bridge will remain accessible to visitors but they should not access any areas south of the bridge. All trails will be closed.

Hunts also will take place at other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this fall, and access to the parks will vary. Some 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 the permits to participate in the hunts, which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options.

"Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area," said Tavis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for Minnesota State Parks and Trails. "When there are too many deer in a park, they feed too much on certain trees and native plants, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a way to protect

natural resources."

For a list of parks' schedules during hunting season, visit dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367.