Youth deer hunters in Minnesota will have expanded opportunities this coming fall. That’s part of the regulations released by the Minnesota DNR recently.

Significant changes for the 2019 season include a youth deer season that’s expanded statewide, expanded deer feeding and attractant bans, and other updates related to managing chronic wasting disease.

“We heard a lot of support for a statewide youth deer hunting season,” Barbara Keller, big game program leader for the Minnesota DNR, said in a release. “We’re excited to make it easier for parents, relatives or trusted adults to share their hunting knowledge and traditions with the next generation of deer hunters.”

The 2019 full Minnesota Hunting and Trapping regulations handbook is available on the DNR’s deer hunting page at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer. Hunting licenses went on sale Aug. 1 and are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-646-6367 or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense.

The statewide youth season runs from Oct. 17 through Oct. 20 for youth hunters ages 10-17. In the past, the youth season was only available in the southeast, northwest and Twin Cities metro permit areas.

There are also changes in regulations regarding chronic wasting disease. In addition to hunters, all Minnesotans in central and southeast Minnesota should pay close attention to the deer feeding and attractant ban rule. The area where deer feeding and using deer attractants is prohibited will expand starting Sept. 1, in areas of central and southeast Minnesota where CWD was detected in farmed or wild deer.

Feeding and attractants increase the risk of disease transmission between animals by bringing them together in close contact, which is a mechanism for CWD spread.

There are several changes to deer permit area numbering this year that will clarify where CWD management and surveillance occurs. Deer permit areas within a CWD management zone, in southeast and north-central Minnesota, will now be part of a 600-series permit areas. The metro deer permit area will be renamed to 701 from 601.

The DNR is, as in previous years, enforcing carcass movement restrictions to limit the spread of disease. Hunters will also need to be aware of mandatory sampling during all deer seasons in the CWD management zones (southeast and north-central), and over the opening weekend of the firearms season in the CWD control zone (southeast, bordering the CWD management zone) and in surveillance areas (central). Areas directly around Alexandria, including permit area 213, are not part of the mandatory sampling areas. The Central CWD surveillance area includes permit areas 277, 283, 219 and 285.

Full details about CWD sampling, including sampling locations, carcass movement restrictions, and management and control zones are available at mndnr.gov/cwd.

Area permit area limits

The limit for the number of deer a hunter can take in each permit area was also made official for the 2019 season with the releasing of the regulations.

Permit areas across the state are broke down into bucks-only (one legal buck per year), lottery (one deer total per year where an either sex permit is required to take an anterless deer under most circumstances), hunter choice (one either sex deer per year), managed area (two deer bag limit with any combination of licenses and bonus permits), intensive area (three deer bag limit with any combination of license types and bonus permits) and untlimited antlerless areas.

Permit area 213 surrounding Alexandria is an intensive area with a three-deer limit. Area 273 to the southwest of Alexandria is a managed area with a two-deer limit. Area 240 north of permit area 213 is also an intensive area with a three-deer limit.

Season information and bag limits for every area of the state can be found at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/map.html.

More information

For more information on what’s new in the regulation changes, and for regularly updated deer hunting information including the DNR’s deer permit area mapping tool, visit the DNR’s deer hunting webpage, mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.