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OutdoorMN News - Early antlerless-only deer hunting season runs Oct. 18-21

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Hunters in portions of southeastern Minnesota can once again harvest antlerless deer in an early antlerless-only season from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Sunday, Oct. 21, in deer permit areas 346, 348, 349 and 603 in Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted and Winona counties, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“The goal of this hunt is to reduce the deer populations in these areas with higher deer densities because of damage to agricultural crops and increased risk of chronic wasting disease spreading,” said Erik Thorson, acting big game program leader. “Any antlerless deer harvested as part of this hunt do not count against an individual’s normal statewide or deer permit area bag limit, so they can be considered extra deer.”

Deer populations in permit areas 346, 348 and 349 have been over the population goals established in 2014 for multiple seasons. The antlerless-only season is intended to help move populations toward established goals, reduce damage to resources and provide additional hunting opportunity.

How to participate

Public land is limited in the early antlerless hunt areas and hunters need to ask permission to hunt private lands.

All deer must be tagged with an appropriate permit. There are a few permit and license options for those who want to participate.

  • With at least one valid early antlerless permit, and a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas.
  • With bonus permits and at least one valid early antlerless permit, as well as a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas.
  • In permit area 603 with disease management tags. Any hunter of legal age may purchase and use an unlimited number of disease management tags to harvest antlerless deer during the early antlerless-only hunt in permit area 603. They are available for $1.50 plus issuing fees wherever deer licenses are sold and are valid without any additional licenses. Disease management tags may not be used outside permit area 603.

In the early antlerless deer hunt, only antlerless deer may be taken, the bag limit is five, and hunters may use up to five early antlerless permits or other valid permits. Deer harvested during the special season do not count toward a hunter’s statewide limit during other deer seasons. Early antlerless deer permits cost $7.50 for residents, $40 for nonresidents, and may be purchased wherever hunting licenses are sold.

The early antlerless season coincides with the four-day special youth deer season. More information can be found at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

CWD testing in permit area 603

Hunters in permit area 603 must have their adult deer tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) by providing the head of all adult deer in one of five head collection boxes (see page 64 of the 2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for location details).

After the head of these deer are provided for sampling, the hunter cannot move the carcass out of the permit area until a not detected test result is received. Properly cut-up deer and boned-out meat can be taken out of the area provided no brain matter or spinal column material is attached.

A tent and tripod to hang deer is provided by the Bluffland Whitetails Association at the Preston DNR Forestry office. This is available to hunters to allow them to quarter their deer, leave the carcass remains in a provided dumpster, and give them options so quarters or meat can leave the 603 zone before receiving a CWD test result. Information on proper steps to follow after harvesting a deer in permit area 603 or to check CWD test results is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd.

CWD testing during the early antlerless and youth season outside the CWD zone is not required. Mandatory testing will occur on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, during the first two days of the firearms A and B deer seasons in these areas.

Individuals can voluntarily have deer tested for CWD through the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at the University of Minnesota for a fee. More information is available online at vdl.umn.edu or by telephone at 612-625-8787.

Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • AlwaysFishing23
      Awesome I like the idea of coustom rods to but the price of them are really insane to me. Almost pulled the trigger last year on a TUCR but $120 seemed crazy to spend on just an ice rod The couple reviews on line Are good. I may cheak it out in stores and if it seems decent I make give it a whirl 
    • monstermoose78
      I use a snitch and it works well. I want to upgrade to a custom rod, but have save a few bucks yet.
    • monstermoose78
      I am picky too no little bucks, in camp but I will harvest a doe or fawn and let little bucks walk.
    • AlwaysFishing23
      Any of you have or have used the one 3 snitch rod? I have a CGI in-line I have on a  Shakespeare noodle rod but don’t like it so that reel will get put on a new rod. I bought a tickle stick last year and paired it with a Decent and really enjoyed it. Looks like the snitch rod is $30-$40. So a little cheaper than the tickle stick Also looking at the beaver dam glass noodle if the snitch isn’t the best. 
      COLD! And too windy for the lake. We had limited success on the river...as usual. If the weather allows, I would head to the lake and not look back. My personal opinion is that the fall river fishing is way over rated. Maybe at times its gets hot, but never when I am there. Hundreds of boats out there packed into the usual places all doing the same thing we were.....freezing our butts off!  Also, not a whole lot of shiners this year yet.
    • Wanderer
      I’m torn on the bonus deer tag.  Still don’t know if I’ll have one in my pocket for the hunt.  With the few memories I have of the glory days, yes, it would be nice to high numbers of deer again.  But really, weren’t there getting to be too many?   The peak population and two deer limit days collided with the two consecutive bad winters that seemed to trash the population of the whole county.  It’s back on the upswing though.  Hard for me to say what damage us bow hunters in Ripley can do by harvesting a few more does and fawns than wouldn’t otherwise be taken with a one deer limit.   I haven’t harvested a camp deer yet either.  Being picky when the numbers were high and then hunting the low numbers haven’t led to success.  But I’m hooked on it anyway.
    • eyeguy 54
      went north a ways and 3 smaller fish all rowing to get bigger. 
    • bbfenatic
      I agree...recruiting young people is the key but keep in mind these millennials tend to be more on the "no limit"  catch and release only side of the argument and you couple that with the fact that our DNR is recruiting these same millennials to work for them....so it makes it harder to sway both sides of the same fence.  IMO they should cut all limits of all species in half state-wide immediately, including all boundary lakes/rivers like LOW and see what the fish population looks like in 10 yrs...this includes keeping any local slot limits in place plus opening Mille Lacs back up to a reasonable keep. Half a limit is plenty to keep for those of us who enjoy a fish fry now and then IMO.
    • Rick
      Dates have been set for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on Shagawa, Bear Island and Ojibway lakes in the Tower fisheries work area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. These lakes are Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, and are opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website. Schedule I Lakes (48 hour notice) Shagawa, open to netting Thursday, Nov. 1  through Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018  (minimum 3.5 inch mesh size). Bear Island & Ojibway lakes, open to netting Saturday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 (minimum 1.75 inch mesh size). Shagawa Lake is designated as infested with spiny waterflea so netters are encouraged to review rules that help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. Fishing regulations require that netters purchase both a whitefish netting license and angling license. The DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures, fish abundance and vulnerability of game fish. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning.  Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water. Find information about sport netting by lake, minimum mesh sizes, and fishing regulations at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/fishing/whitefish-tullibee.pdf or contact the DNR’s Tower area office at 650 Highway 169, Tower, MN 55790, or call 218-300-7802. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the main basin... Many strong reports from the lake.  Mixed schools of fish from 14-28' along south shore from Lighthouse Gap to Rocky Point.  Most anchored up and jigging with frozen shiners.  Gold or gold mixed with other colors working well.   The key is finding the fish.  Once found, fish tend to cooperate nicely.     On the Rainy River... Strong walleye activity continues.  Jig and frozen shiners continue to be the go-to method with some anglers also trolling crankbaits.  Gold, orange and yellow for jigs.  As waves of walleyes move through, reports change daily up and down river.  Be mobile, move around if a spot isn't producing.  A lot of good reports in 8-14'.  Some big walleyes caught over the weekend. Sturgeon continue to have the feed bag on.  The sturgeon catch and release season goes through April 23, 2019.       Up at the NW Angle... Fishing continues to be really really good.  Limits of walleyes being caught in 14 - 25'.  Jigging still producing.  Look for areas of current in neck down areas and outside of bays.  Fall crappie bite in on.  Muskie trollers still boating and releasing good numbers of fish.  The best fall fishing is yet to come, but only for the hearty!  Dress warm and hang on.