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DNR to prohibit Minn. entry of some big-game carcasses from other states

Hunters can no longer bring whole deer carcasses into Minnesota from anywhere in North America, beginning this fall, the Department of Natural Resources said Monday. This restriction includes not just deer, but elk, moose and caribou.

The restriction previously applied to animals harvested in areas of North America where chronic wasting disease (CWD) was present.

“We are making this change to respond to the increasing prevalence and geographic spread of CWD,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader. 

Regardless  where an animal is harvested outside of Minnesota, hunters can bring only these parts into the state:

• Meat that is boned out or that is cut and wrapped (either commercially or privately).
• Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
• Hides and teeth.
• Antlers or clean skull plates (no brain tissue attached) with antlers attached.
• Finished taxidermy mounts.

Nonresidents transporting whole or partial carcasses on a direct route through Minnesota are exempt from this restriction; however, similar restrictions exist in all surrounding states.

Somewhat higher deer harvest likely this fall; licenses on sale

Minnesota hunters' deer harvest is likely to rise this fall, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Still, throughout most of the state, one-deer limits will remain in place.

“Hunters can look forward to seeing the growth in local deer populations following two years of mild winters and lower overall harvests,” said Adam Murkowski, Big Game Program leader with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Licenses can be purchased beginning today. The deadline to apply for the antlerless permit lottery is Thursday, Sept. 8.

Important dates to remember: Archery deer hunting opens, Sept. 17, and firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 5.

In a statement issued Monday morning, the DNR also said:

"In northern and northeastern areas, the 2016 hunting regulations will remain somewhat conservative to allow for a controlled increase in deer numbers, resulting in lottery and bucks only designations.

"In the highly productive deer permit areas in west central and southeast Minnesota, as well as areas surrounding the Twin Cities metro area, regulations are meant to use hunting as a tool to help manage local deer populations. These deer permit areas tend to either allow hunters to choose to shoot a single buck or single antlerless deer, or to allow hunters to harvest more than one deer.

"In 67 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to harvest an antlerless deer (down from 70 areas last season). Only bucks can be hunted in five areas (down from 14 areas). In 32 areas, hunters have the choice of harvesting a doe or a buck (up from 29 areas). Bonus permits allowing hunters to harvest more than one deer may only be used in 24 permit areas and for some special hunts (up from 12 areas).''

Here's a breakdown by permit area of harvest restrictions:

Remember: A hunter may tag one legal buck per year, without exception. In southeastern Minnesota’s 300 series permit areas, these designations apply to both early and late – A and B – seasons.

Only male deer with one antler at least three inches long may be harvested in these bucks-only permit areas: 119, 152, 169, 183 and 199.  

Hunters must be selected in the lottery to harvest an antlerless deer in these lottery permit areas: 101, 103, 105, 108, 110, 111, 118, 122, 126, 155, 156, 157, 159, 171, 172, 173, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 184, 197, 203, 208, 221, 222, 224, 234, 235, 237, 238, 246, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 260, 262, 266, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 275, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.

Hunters can choose to shoot a single buck or single antlerless deer in these hunter-choice permit areas: 114, 117, 127, 201, 209, 210, 218, 219, 229, 230, 233, 239, 242, 247, 254, 256, 257, 258, 259, 261, 263, 264, 265, 267, 268, 273, 276, 277, 338, 339, 344 and 347.  

Hunters may harvest two deer, only one of which may be a buck, in these managed permit areas: 213, 214, 215, 223, 225, 227, 232, 236, 240, 241, 248, 255, 287 (no archery hunting), 292, 293, 341, 342, 343 345 and 348.

Hunters may harvest up to five deer, only one of which may be a buck, in these intensive permit areas: 182, 346, 349.

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