Hunters, you're all set to plan ahead for the fall!

The DNR has released the 2020 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping regulations handbook, now available on the DNR website.

Deer hunters this season will generally see more harvest opportunities. Deer hunting regulations and permit area maps are on the DNR deer hunting page.

Hunting licenses go on sale Saturday, Aug. 1. You can buy your license at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-665-4236, or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense.

Statewide youth deer season continues

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The popular youth deer hunting season continues and will happen statewide Oct. 15-18. During last year’s inaugural statewide youth season, nearly 5,700 young deer hunters harvested a deer, which represented a 77% increase from the previous season when it was limited to fewer areas.

Early antlerless season expands

The DNR has expanded the early antlerless deer season, Oct. 15-18, to include more deer permit areas in central and southeastern Minnesota. The season increases opportunities for hunters in areas where deer populations are above population goals, or where there is an increased risk of chronic wasting disease spreading. Permit areas open during the hunt are 213, 214, 215, 341, 342, 343, 344, 604, 605, 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649 and 655.

Check your deer permit area boundary

Several deer permit area boundaries in north-central and northwestern Minnesota have changed due to input from the public and DNR staff during the deer population goal-setting process, or in response to CWD spread. Hunters should double check the boundaries of any permit areas where they plan to hunt.

Read up on CWD testing changes

There are significant changes to the regulations related to chronic wasting disease, as the DNR continues its aggressive management of CWD and also is ensuring hunter and staff safety by implementing sampling changes that allow for social distancing and community mitigation measures.

Sign up for deer virtual open house

Anyone interested in discussing deer and deer management can tune in to a virtual open house 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, hosted by the DNR. Registration for the event is required and available on the deer open house webpage. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions in advance on their registration form.

Apply to hunt prairie chickens

Hunters can apply through Friday, Aug. 14, to be chosen for one of 125 permits for the 2020 Minnesota prairie chicken hunting season. The nine-day prairie chicken season begins Saturday, Sept. 26, and is open only to Minnesota residents. The hunt takes place in northwestern Minnesota between St. Hilaire in the north and Breckenridge in the south. Hunters can find details about the season on the DNR website.

Apply for special youth deer hunts

Check out these special deer hunting opportunities for youth—there are a limited number of permits for each hunt, in state parks and a wildlife area. Adults must accompany youth. Remember to apply for these special hunts (PDF) by the Aug. 14 deadline.