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inthecattails

2007 Deer License/Reg Changes

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is changing the all-season deer license to reduce the harvest of antlerless deer in certain areas of the state.

Other changes for the upcoming season include simplification of deer bag limits, expanded early antlerless deer hunting, a bovine tuberculosis (TB) disease management area in the northwest, some permit area boundary changes, an opportunity to purchase leftover lottery permits, and expanded archery and muzzleloader seasons in the Arrowhead region.

For the first time, all-season license holders hunting in lottery areas during the late muzzleloader season will need antlerless permits to take antlerless deer.

In 2006, more than 75,000 Minnesota deer hunters purchased an all-season deer license, which allows hunters to take up to three deer during the archery, regular firearms, and muzzleloader seasons. The rapid increase in popularity of the all-season license and its use during the muzzleloader season has led to tremendous increases in unregulated antlerless deer harvest. In lottery areas where antlerless deer harvest must be closely managed, this additional unregulated antlerless harvest is pushing populations below goal levels.

"While deer populations throughout much of Minnesota are at historic highs, we are seeing declines in some farmland areas despite the lottery system and reductions in firearm either-sex permits," said Lou Cornicelli, big game program coordinator. "As an agency, we've promoted the all-season license and fully support the flexibility it gives our hunters. However, in some areas of the state we are seeing harvest rates on antlerless deer that just can't be sustained."

Consequently, the DNR will adopt regulations that limit the number and type of deer all-season license holders can take. Cornicelli added,

"The alternative in lottery areas would have been bucks only for all hunters and given our emphasis on youth recruitment, we are trying to avoid that situation." A bucks-only regulation would curtail all antlerless harvest for everyone hunting in the area, including youth. Bringing the bulk of the antlerless deer harvest back under the control of a lottery permitting system is also a less restrictive way to accomplish management goals than bucks-only hunting.

This year, all-season license holders who hunt in lottery areas during either the regular firearms or the muzzleloader season must apply for an either-sex permit by Sept. 6 if they wish to harvest an antlerless deer in either season. Successful applicants can use the permit to take an antlerless deer during any of the open seasons. Unsuccessful all-season license holder applicants and those who purchase their all-season license after the application deadline will be restricted to bucks only during the firearm and muzzleloader seasons within lottery areas.

Hunters who purchase the regular muzzleloader season license (license code 212-ML) can still take a deer of either-sex without participating in the lottery. Cornicelli added, "regular muzzleloader hunters account for a very small percentage of overall antlerless harvest and at this time do not need to be included in the lottery. However, we will be closely monitoring all antlerless harvest and may need to impose further restrictions in lottery areas in the future if these measures are unsuccessful."

The regulation should result in improved management of antlerless deer taken in lottery areas and lead to increases in the deer population in those areas. All-season hunters can still take an antlerless deer during the archery season without applying; however, the total bag limit is one deer per year in lottery areas.

The following additional changes begin to take effect with the Sept. 15 opening of archery deer hunting. Firearms deer hunting begins statewide on Nov. 3 and the muzzleloader season starts Nov. 24.

BAG LIMITS

Minnesota has three tiers for managing deer areas: lottery, managed, and intensive. This year, the bag limits have been simplified and there will be no deviations based on license types. In lottery areas, the bag limit will be one deer per year, managed areas will have a bag limit of two, and intensive areas will have a bag limit of five. These bag limits are the total allowed per individual hunter per year, and apply regardless of the season or method of take - whether by regular firearms, muzzleloader or archery.

MUZZLELOADER SEASON

All-season license holders will need to apply by Sept. 6 if they wish to take an antlerless deer during the muzzleloader season. However, regular muzzleloader hunters (license code 212-ML) will not need to apply because their license will remain either sex. The two license types are being differentiated because hunters licensed for just the muzzleloader season kill only one-tenth of the deer that are taken by all-season hunters in the muzzleloader season. Limiting the type of deer that could be taken by regular muzzleloader license holders would not result in significantly decreased antlerless deer harvest rates, so they will not be included in the lottery process at this time.

LEFTOVER LOTTERY PERMITS

In some areas there are leftover lottery permits after the drawing. This year, remaining permits will be available for purchase at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15 to all hunters. The permits will be available on a first come, first served basis. Hunters will need to have a valid license or purchase one at the time.

NEW BOVINE TB AREA, SEASON AND ANTERLESS PERMIT

For 2007, a new deer area (area 101) has been created in northwest Minnesota based on the proximity of deer identified with bovine TB. The boundary is defined by roads and inclusive of all bovine TB positive animals identified to date. The area will be in the Zone 1 season framework (16 days) and will also be included in the two day early antlerless season. A special antlerless permit, valid in the bovine TB area, will also be available. This disease management permit will be antlerless only and available for the cost of issuance ($2.50). An unlimited number of deer can be taken in this area but hunters are limited to the statewide regulation of one buck per year.

All deer taken in the area must be registered prior to leaving the area. Additional information will be in the 2007 hunting synopsis and a map will be posted on the DNR Web site.

DEER AREA BOUNDARY CHANGES

Boundaries of some deer areas in northwestern Minnesota have been changed. The change does not affect hunting opportunity because all the areas will remain in Zone 2. These changes were made to better align the areas with habitat type and deer management objectives. The changed areas have been renumbered so prior to buying a license, hunters are advised to consult the map so they know which number to indicate.

EARLY ANTERLESS FIREARM DEER SEASON

This year, the early antlerless season has been expanded to include 22 deer areas (up from eight). The two-day October antlerless only firearms hunt will be open in deer areas 101 (except Hayes (Contact Us Please) Park), 105, 157, 184 (except the Bemidji State Game Refuge), 209, 210, 214, 221, 222, 225, 227, 236, 241 243, 244, 256, 257, 260, 261, 265, 346, 349, and 601. The hunt will be held Oct. 13-14.

Hunters need a valid firearms license for the zone and may purchase up to two early antlerless deer permits for use only during the special antlerless season. Two deer may be taken in the special antlerless season and are in addition to the statewide bag limit of five. The price of the early antlerless permit is $6.50 (plus a $1 issuing fee). Last year, 6,300 hunters harvested 2,300 antlerless deer in eight early antlerless deer areas.

METRO DEER ZONE

Deer areas 228 and 337 have been combined and renumbered as deer area 601, also known as the Metro Deer Zone. Like last year, any deer license is valid in this area. Hunters who typically purchase a Zone 2 license for deer area 228 should continue to buy a Zone 2 license. They would simply indicate 601 as the permit area hunted most often.

Similarly, hunters who traditionally purchased either a Zone 3A or 3B license to hunt area 337 should continue to purchase their traditional license and indicate 601 as their primary deer area.

ARROWHEAD DEER HUNTING

This year, deer areas 116, 126, and 127 will be open to late season archery and muzzleloader hunting. Previously, these areas have been closed before the end of the statewide seasons to protect wintering deer.

The results of DNR's deer population goal setting project indicated an interest in reducing these deer populations below current levels. DNR will continue to use hunting as the primary tool to manage deer populations within goal ranges. Putting these areas into the statewide archery and muzzleloader season framework should result in additional deer harvest and increases in local hunting opportunity.

This year's deer regulation changes, which primarily affect hunters whose licenses allow the most hunting opportunity, are part of an effort to manage deer within goal population levels that have been established through an extensive public process. Long-term, the DNR aims to simplify deer hunting regulations. This year's bag limit change is an example of simplifying regulations based on the type of deer management area.

"For hunters, this year's changes mean more opportunity to harvest antlerless deer in some areas, such as the early antlerless hunting season, and some restrictions on antlerless harvest in other areas, such as lottery areas," Cornicelli said. "Across Minnesota, hunting is the primary tool for managing deer population. Regulation changes and refinements allow for varying hunting opportunities and sustainable deer populations."

All of the changes will be in the 2007 hunting synopsis, which will be available at all 1,800 businesses that sell hunting and fishing licenses across Minnesota.

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Thanks. What is the source of this information you quoted. I looked on the DNR site and didn't find this.

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It's on the DNR site. Go to the Hunting page and look under news releases for the release dated 7-3-2007. Was a beautiful way to end the weekend realizing I can get one deer and one deer only no matter what in my home hunting area overrun with them.

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If you have too many deer and not enough tags isn't that when you invite others to hunt with you?

If they aren't big hunters you can usually fill their tags first, and then continue hunting with or without your new friends.

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There may be lots of deer in your small area, but the entire county might not be so well off. Unless I was having huge crop damage or some other negative impact I wouldn't be complaining about a quality deer herd.

If you are having damage etc. then you can get a conditional permit to take extra deer. Only takes a phone call to the CO or a wildlife biologist in your area.

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anyone else having issues with the map with all the sections on it on the MN DNR website? just got a new chunk of land and don't have a map from last year but need to see if it's a spot for the early season. Those early season tags do we need to apply? Are non-residents able to hunt them? Just trying to figure some things out. Thanks

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I'm not complaining about a quality herd. Just a little irritated I can't take two deer this year. That's all. I'll get over it. grin.gif

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Its good to see that the DNR is listening to some of the hunter complaints about shooting too many deer in western MN and changing the rules accordingly. At least they're listening and responding.

It will be interesting to see read the 2007 regs when they come out and see which zones are Intensive, which ones are Mangaged, etc and how they've changed. I would bet that you're going to see a lot less All Season licenses sold once hunters realize they can shoot only one deer.

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I called the DNR this morning and they said my area - 417 - will be a lottery area again, so one deer. Codeman, give them a call and they should help you out in terms of figuring out what you need to know. They have always been very good about that.

On the plus side, with an extremely slow year for hunters in my particular area last year and an abundance of deer this year, next year's population should be booming to the point I would hope the DNR moves us to a managed area. However, a lot of that depends on the southern half of our area, which if I remember correctly, got pounded hard. And I doubt they will split our area up even further after cutting part of it into zone 2 last year.

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Chucker, I also hunt in 417 and I'm also bummed with only one deer, it was nice to be able shoot an early doe for the freezer and then hold out for a buck later on during the rut. I also agree with you, it should make for a booming deer population in a few years when people start passing on those does.

I think a bigger change will be the requirement for muzzleloader hunters to have to draw for a doe permit in a lottery area, I think thats where the problem was, so many people were picking up a muzzleloader and shooting more does than areas could withstand.

I'm also going to wait until I see the wording of the All-season license. You still should be able to go up to a management zone and shoot that early doe and still have a permit to be used in 417, right? Zone two isn't that far away, just north of 55 by Belgrade. We'll see.

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Blackjack, I think you are right on with taking two deer with the all-season, if you moved to a managed area to take the second. I can't see how it couldn't be that way. I may have to try the same thing, moving north for a second deer.

If the ML season was the reason for the overharvest of does, I can't see why they would change it for bow hunters too but its probably simpler that way to just blanket it for them. I don't mean to sound like a griper so I won't carry on about it. At least I get a crack at one deer in my home area. grin.gif

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Blackjack, the ML hunters still don't need to apply for a doe tag, just all season license holders who are hunting during the muzzleloader season. How that's fair I'll never know???

At any rate, I was one who worried that our deer numbers were down, so while I liked the two tag options with the all season much better, for the sake of bringing up the deer numbers in the areas that are down, I'll be fine with this. They need to manage numbers by area, not just say the overall herd in the state is huge so everyone everywhere can shoot all the deer they want. I agree with their philosophy at least, if not all the details...

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lawdog, this is from the original post/press release:

The two license types are being differentiated because hunters licensed for just the muzzleloader season kill only one-tenth of the deer that are taken by all-season hunters in the muzzleloader season. Limiting the type of deer that could be taken by regular muzzleloader license holders would not result in significantly decreased antlerless deer harvest rates, so they will not be included in the lottery process at this time.

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lawdog, it may not be fair but to the DNR, its a numbers thing, the all season license ML hunters were killing lots more deer, so they needed to be regulated by going to a lottery.

You're right, at least they're doing something about the low deer numbers in some areas.

I personally am glad that we don't see anything about minimum antler restrictions!!! Or earn a buck!!!

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I would think the other part of that reason is that the straight ML hunters only get one tag, unlike the All-Season hunters. The other part like was pointed out, is there aren't that many just straight ML hunters. Most of the guys that ML hunt firearms too. Most that I know hunt archery, firearms, & ML.

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Two questions:

If I hunt strictly in a lottery zone and buy an all season license, can I legally harvest a doe with my bow and a buck with my shotgun?

If I hunt strictly in a lottery zone and buy an all season license and successfully receive an antlerless tag in the lottery, can I legally harvest a doe with my bow and a doe with my shotgun?

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The way I read it. No matter what license you buy. If you hunt in a lottery area you can only tag one deer, doesn't matter if you have three tags. Kinda bums me out as well. I hunt 417 towards the north end and I see all kinds of deer.

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Check out the DNR site about their management goals for this year. It explains their current decisions and you can take a survey to give your opinion.

You can always come to the metro area and whack a few deer. They are giving them away. I do some management hunts in the city. Its pretty easy if you're a bowhunter.

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I would be very interested in doing some bow hunts in the city. Could you point me in the right direction for some info on that? Also, do you know if it would matter that I use a crossbow, cause I have a disability permit.

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dukhnt, send me an email. I see you're in SLP. I work in Hopkins and live in EP.

epfd217@gmail.com

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Quote:

I'm also going to wait until I see the wording of the All-season license. You still should be able to go up to a management zone and shoot that early doe and still have a permit to be used in 417, right? Zone two isn't that far away, just north of 55 by Belgrade. We'll see.


Blackjack, you're right. You'll still be able to fill all your AS tags, just not in the lottery area anymore. It'll require hunting in an area with a higher bag limit.

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Quote:

Two questions:

If I hunt strictly in a lottery zone and buy an all season license, can I legally harvest a doe with my bow and a buck with my shotgun?

If I hunt strictly in a lottery zone and buy an all season license and successfully receive an antlerless tag in the lottery, can I legally harvest a doe with my bow and a doe with my shotgun?


No to both questions. The bag limit in lottery areas will be one deer per year total.

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Thanks for the answer lcornice.

The more I think about it, I like the changes where the number of deer you can shoot is more dependent on the type of zone you hunt - lottery, management, intensive - than the type of license, it tends to simplify things.

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Quote:

Thanks for the answer lcornice.

The more I think about it, I like the changes where the number of deer you can shoot is more dependent on the type of zone you hunt - lottery, management, intensive - than the type of license, it tends to simplify things.


That's always been the intent. When the all-season license was created, the intent was to create more opportunity to hunt multiple seasons. When the legislature added the third tag, I think people presumed the license was designed to kill more deer, which isn't the case.

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I understand the change and the desire for more simplicity. However, I'd love to see an exception for primitive weapons like there used to be in lottery areas. I don't need three deer, but a buck and doe over the course of three months of selective bow hunting would be nice.

I checked the 2005 stats and in my area it looks like bowhunters tagged 167 does compared to 1159 by regular firearm hunters. That's about 14 percent of the firearm number, so it's substantial, but is it substantial enough to warrant a hard an fast limit applied to hunters regardless of weapon used. It must be if the DNR made the change. I am a big fan of what they've done for management in the state and respect their decision.

But at the same time, it's good to ask questions. Lcornice, who should I talk to in order to figure out more about how this universal bag limit system was arrived at and if there is potential to change it based on input/lobbying from the public.

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So let me see if I have this straight, when I buy my all-season license it will still have three tags but I can only tag one deer in a lottery area.

So, I hunt both 451 (lottery) and 452 (managed), assuming they'll be the same designations this year I think then that I can shoot a doe in 452 with my second tag and shoot a buck in either 451 or 452 for two deer still right? Also, if I get a doe permit for 451 by applying in September for the gun and/or muzzleloader season (can I apply for both and get both???), can I then use my doe tag in 451 and still shoot a buck in 452 with my main tag or is the doe permit for the main tag and not the second tag? Very confusing... confused.gif

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