Minnesota Deer Hunting

Home to the famous Mayo Clinic, where highly skilled doctors armed with the newest techologies draw people worldwide. If you’re not ailing, you’re hunting. Grab yourself a Milky Way, Snickers, or maybe a Three Musketeers and head to your favorite haunt, up in a tree preferably, and remember to thank Mr. Mars of Minnesota for those irresistible treats.

The five words that would bring any deer hunter to tears were spoken in 1971, “deer hunting season is closed”. Fierce winters and unregulated hunting depleted deer numbers severely. Thus the season was closed in an attempt to form regulations and restabilize the herd.

After a five year hiatus, 1976 was the year antlerless permits were introduced. A specific number of does and fawns were allowed to be hunted in each of the 120 permit areas. Biologists reviewed density charts, then adjusted the amount of permits given according to population levels wanted.

Although winters may play the largest role in deer population, aging hunters and a lack of young hunters have pushed the amount of deer to over one million today. Today, the strategies have reversed. Minnesota is wanting to thin their herd, not increase it.

Rutting peaks around the second week of November. Movement will be greatest before and, to a lesser extent, after this time period.

Minnesota Deer Hunting Facts

  • Over 400,000 hunters
  • Over 1 million deer
  • Over 200,000 deer harvested in nine of the past ten years, dipping under the mark in 2009(194,186)
  • Top typical buck at 202 0/8 taken by John Breene with a gun in Beltrami County dates back to 1918
  • Top non-typical buck at 268 5/8 taken by Mitchell Vakoch with a gun in Norman County, in 1974

Minnesota, derived from a Sioux Indian word meaning sky-tinted water, is overpopulated with deer. Perhaps you could use some extra deer jerky this year. You would be helping to reduce the herd.

Popular Public Hunting Areas in Minnesota

Red Lake—The largest Wildlife Management Area in the state, covering more than 200,000 acres. Heavily timbered wetland hunting for all. For more information, check out the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area page.

Minnesota Private Hunting Areas

Do you own private hunting land or offer guided hunts in Minnesota? Contact us about a listing in this section!

Other Resources

For Minnesota hunting license information, rules and regulations, visit Minnesota’s Department of Resources hunting license page and hunting and regulations page.