The Minnesota firearms deer hunting season begins this weekend and that means off-highway vehicles for recreational use will be restricted in some areas in the state.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the restrictions apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads.  The goal is to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and also to minimize conflicts between deer hunters and recreational riders who may accidentally interfere with hunters.

“The 2020 riding season has 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 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division. “If you know someone who’s new to riding this year, we encourage you to share this information with them.”

 

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.

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The DNR says that licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity:

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

A safe practice for all hunters with off-highway vehicles is to check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's OVHV closures page prior to heading out.  You can click on the button below to access the page.

Hunters call also contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or call 888-646-6367 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.