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Temporary off-highway vehicle restrictions begin with firearms deer opener

Recreational use of off-highway vehicles will be restricted in some areas where hunters may use rifles during the firearms deer hunting season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Recreational use of off-highway vehicles will be restricted in some areas where hunters may use rifles during the firearms deer hunting season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and registered off-road vehicles such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.

The restrictions apply to designated OHV recreational riding trails on state land. These include grant-in-aid trails and state forest trails and access routes, but not state forest roads.

“Recent riding seasons have seen many new OHV enthusiasts hitting the trails for the first time, and many of them may not be familiar with these longstanding temporary closures,” said Bruce Lawrence, recreational vehicle coordinator for the DNR Enforcement Division. “The goal of these closures is simple: To protect public safety and reduce potential conflict between riders and hunters.”

Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity:

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  • Before legal shooting time.
  • From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • After legal shooting hours.

Effective dates of the recreational riding restrictions are:

  • Nov. 6-21 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season.
  • Nov. 6-14 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer season, in those permit areas where hunters may use rifles.

The restrictions do not apply in the shotgun zone of the 200 Series of permit areas, or in southeastern Minnesota, where recreational OHV trails close by Nov. 1 each year.
Visit the DNR website for specific trail closure information. For more information, see the 2021 deer season map online or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 651-296-6157 (888-646-6367 toll free).

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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