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Veterans with disabilities are eligible for free hunting licenses

Minnesota resident veterans with 100 percent service-connected permanent disability can apply for a free permanent card that allows them to receive a free small game and either-sex deer hunting license each year, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Minnesota lawmakers passed the permanent card legislation during the 2013 session. It was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton.

"Our veterans have made great sacrifices to secure our freedoms, which in Minnesota include the freedom to enjoy the great outdoors," said Governor Dayton. "Through their service to our state and country, disabled veterans have more than earned the right to hunt in Minnesota free of charge."

"We appreciate the sacrifices made by our disabled veterans, and this is one small thing the DNR can do to make it easier for them to enjoy the outdoors," said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

Disabled veterans will no longer have to bring their paperwork to the license agent every year. "They'll need their paperwork to apply one time," said Steve Michaels, the DNR's licensing program director. "Once the card is issued, disabled veterans can simply present the permanent card to receive a license."

Obtaining the free permanent card is optional. Veterans may still use their paperwork to obtain the free licenses.

The DNR has mailed letters and applications to 2,294 disabled veterans who have previously obtained a free small game or either-sex deer license. Other Minnesota resident military veterans with 100 percent service-connected permanent disability, as defined by the U.S. Veterans Administration, may obtain an application online at or call toll-free at 877-348-0498.