The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced the online version of the 2021 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook is now available so hunters can review changes in regulations prior to getting their license.

Archery deer season begins Saturday, September 18 and firearms deer season opens Saturday, November 6. Minnesota deer hunting licenses go on sale Sunday, August 1, and they can be purchased at any DNR license agent, by calling 888-665-4236 or you can simply buy your hunting license online. 

Hunters shouldn't expect sweeping changes to hunting regulations across the state, but there are some differences.

“For the 2021 season, hunters may harvest more than one deer in almost half of the permit areas,” said Barbara Keller, DNR big game program leader. “Overall, bag-limit designations for this year are similar to last year, with a few changes in certain areas to move populations toward goal.”

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The shift to a five-deer bag limit in areas that were previously under an unlimited antlerless bag limit is one of the changes for 2021. The DNR notes that while few hunters took more than two deer in these unlimited areas, there were hunters concerned the unlimited designation would greatly diminish deer populations. Therefore, the change was made in response to those concerns while still allowing the DNR to meet management goals.

Hunters should also be aware of is that mandatory sampling of deer harvested in chronic wasting disease zones will resume this year and that those zones have expanded following detections of the disease in wild and captive deer.

The actual names of bag-limit designations have also changed this year so that bag limits are easier to understand. The one-deer limit categories are “bucks only,” “antlerless permit lottery” (formerly “lottery”) and “either-sex” (formerly “hunter choice”). “Managed” is now “two-deer limit,” and “intensive” is now “three-deer limit.”

As the deer hunting season gets close, Minnesota hunters should reference the button above for complete details on the changes mentioned above and more. You'll also find information on additional hunting opportunities such as the annual youth deer season and other special hunts.

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