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'Areas of limitation' off-limits to ATV's, even during hunting season

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Deer hunters in Paul Bunyan State Forest and Beltrami Island State Forest may encounter new signs designating "areas with limitations" where the big game hunter/trapper ATV exceptions do not apply.

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Forest lands classified as managed or limited are afforded off-road vehicle and ATV exception when hunting big game or transporting or installing hunting stands during October, November and December. ATV riders must be in possession of a valid big game hunting license, retrieving big game in September, or tending traps during an open trapping season for protected furbearers and in possession of a valid trapping license.

Areas with limitations do not afford this general exception. These areas have been set aside to protect unique natural resources and provide a variety of opportunities to enjoy state forests.

Signs for areas with limitations will typically read: "No motorized vehicles permitted beyond this point" and/or "Foot travel welcome. Closed to all public motor vehicle use." The signs are a product of the off-highway vehicle planning and forest classification process, which is part of multi-user forest management.

Hunters need to know the local regulations for the state forest and wildlife management areas in which they are hunting. The Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook provides detailed information on pages 26-28, 105-106 and 113-123. Information is also available online at www.findthetrails.com, which also lists roads and trails that may have been closed due to recent rains or flooding.

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