Jay Cooke State Park will be closed Dec. 7-13 to all visitors outside of the campground, office and River Inn areas during a special muzzleloader hunt to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources. The swinging bridge will remain accessible to visitors but they should not access any areas south of the bridge. All trails will be closed.

Visitors are advised to wear blaze orange or brightly colored clothing if they will be in the park while the hunt is in progress. Visitors should also check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive.

Hunts will also 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.

“We allow occasional deer hunts to protect the natural resources in our state parks,” Tavis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for Minnesota State Parks and Trails, said in a news release. “If deer populations become too high in an area, they can negatively impact native plant communities. Deer hunts are an effective tool to maintain a balance between plant and animal life."

The DNR thanks visitors for their patience and understanding during the hunts.

For a list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the 2019 hunting season, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367