Antlerless deer permit deadline is Thursday, Sept. 9
Deer hunters who use a firearm or muzzleloader in deer permit areas 172, 197, 246, 251, 258 and 259 and want to harvest an antlerless deer must apply for an either-sex permit (by lottery) by the Thursday, Sept. 9, deadline. In addition, many boundaries for deer harvest permit areas near Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids have changed, so hunters should double check whether their area is designated a "lottery" area.
New permit area numbers 258 and 259 replace old permit area numbers 244 and 245. Permit areas 172, 241 and 246 have been expanded and old permit area 243 has been eliminated.
As in 2009, nearly half of Minnesota's deer permit areas are lottery areas for 2010, said Earl Johnson, Detroit Lakes Area Wildlife Manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Permit areas are designated "lottery" when deer populations of a permit area are below population goals set three years ago by citizen committees considering the interests of the total community.
"Each year, we estimate deer numbers using a population model that considers past harvests, over-winter survival and fawn production. That information helps determine which areas to designate as lottery when deer numbers are below population goals," said Rob Naplin, Park Rapids Area Wildlife Manager.
Within permit areas designated "lottery" both firearms and muzzleloader hunters may only harvest a buck unless they apply for and receive an either-sex permit, which allows them to harvest either an antlerless deer or a buck.
For 2010, all firearm and muzzleloader hunters within lottery deer areas must apply by Sept. 9 if they want to take a deer of either sex. Successful applicants will be able to take an antlerless deer only during their chosen season and the permit area they list on their application. "For example, if you apply for the antlerless permit for the muzzleloader season, it is not valid during the firearms season," Naplin said.
This year, hunters are able to apply for one firearm and one muzzleloader permit. Individuals who are successful in both lotteries may only fill one antlerless permit.
"The statewide bag limit of one deer in lottery areas still applies, regardless of the permit in your pocket," Johnson said. A hunter may still hunt statewide during the muzzleloader season in any managed or intensive permit area; but a hunter cannot take more than one deer from all lottery areas combined.
For the 2010 season, the number of either-sex permits available in local permit areas are: 2,000 in PA 172; 2,500 in PA 197; 5,500 in PA 246; 300 in PA 251; 2,000 in PA 258; and 3,000 in PA 259. Lottery winners will receive permits via U.S. mail. Hunters may apply for an either-sex permit through any Electronic License System (ELS) agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by calling 1-888-665-4236.
Bonus permits cannot be used in lottery deer permit areas, regardless of weapon type. Hunters who are unsuccessful in the lottery may only harvest a legal buck throughout the season within lottery deer areas. An exception would be for hunters who hunt in a lottery area within a state park special hunt where the harvest of antlerless deer and the use of bonus permits has been authorized.
Archery hunters may take a deer of either sex in a lottery area without applying for a permit.