Minnesota Deer Hunting Season 2023-2024 [Latest Dates]

For whitetail deer hunters in Minnesota, the 2023-2024 seasons offer ample opportunities statewide to pursue these iconic animals. You may have a successful and legal hunt by being aware of important dates, rules, licensing costs, and other pertinent information.

Minnesota Deer Hunting Season Dates 2023-2024

In Minnesota, there are distinct deer hunting seasons for hunters using guns, muzzleloaders, and youngsters. The seasons and dates are as follows:

MN Deer Hunt CategoryZonesSeason StartSeason End Date
Early Antlerless19-Oct19-Oct
Firearm (Season A)100 Series permit areas4-Nov4-Nov
Firearm (Season A)200 & 300 Series permit areas4-Nov4-Nov
Firearm (Season B)300 Series permit areas18-Nov18-Nov
Metro deermanagement zone4-Nov26-Nov
Youth - StatewideStatewide19-Oct22-Oct
Early antlerless19-Oct22-Oct
Special hunts/ CWD hunt15-Dec17-Dec

MN Special Deer Hunts

Archery Deer Season

Archery SeasonSeason Start DateSeason End DateHunt TypeBag Limit
Cannon River Wilderness Park15-Dec17-DecNot ApplicableUnlimited
Lake Tamarack Unit of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum21-Oct5-NovEarn-a-buck2
City of Two Harbors16-Sep30-NovEarn-a-buck2
City of Blue Earth16-Sep31-DecEarn-a-buck2
City of New Ulm14-Oct31-DecOther3
City of Lake Benton16-Sep31-DecEarn-a-buck2
Pin Oak Prairie Scientific and Natural Area1-Oct30-NovEither-Sex5
City of Windom16-Sep31-DecAntlerless only2
Camp Ripley Military Reservation27-Oct29-OctEither-Sex2
Carleton Game Refuge23-Nov31-DecEarn-a-buck5
City of Austin and Jay C Hormel Nature Center1-Oct31-DecEarn-a-buck3
City of Warroad16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex5
Vermillion Highlands Research; Recreation and Wildlife Management Area16-Sep27-OctOther3
City of Red Wing16-Sep31-DecOther5
City of Redwood Falls16-Sep31-DecOther3
City of Duluth16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex3
City of Mankato16-Sep31-DecEarn-a-buck5
City of Granite Falls16-Sep31-DecAntlerless only1
City of Ortonville16-Sep1-DecEarn-a-buck5
City of Canby16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex2
City of Bemidji (NE)16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex5
City of Bemidji (West)16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex5
Bemidji Regional Airport16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex5
Greenleaf Lake State Recreation Area16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex1
City of Baxter16-Sep31-DecEither-Sex5
City of Owatonna20-Nov17-DecEarn-a-buck5
City of Owatonna22-Oct19-NovEarn-a-buck5
City of Hallock - Season B21-Oct24-NovAntlerless only2
City of Hallock - Season A16-Sep20-OctAntlerless only2
City of Hallock - Season C25-Nov31-DecAntlerless only2
River Bend Nature Center9-Nov12-NovEarn-a-buck2
City of Red Lake Falls16-Sep31-DecAntlerless only1

Firearms Deer Season

MN Firearm SeasonSeason Start DateSeason End DateHunt TypeBag Limit
Franz Jevne State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex3
Itasca State Park4-Nov12-NovEither-Sex1
Cascade River State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge11-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
St. Croix State Park16-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
Lake Louise State Park11-Nov12-NovEarn-a-buck3
Gooseberry Falls State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
Tettegouche State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
Scenic State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
Hayes Lake State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex2
Lake Bemidji State Park4-Nov7-NovEither-Sex2
Zippel Bay State Park4-Nov19-NovEarn-a-buck3
Judge C.R. Magney State Park4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex1
Lake Carlos State Park4-Nov7-NovAntlerless only1
William O'Brien State Park11-Nov12-NovEither-Sex2
Lake Bronson State Park4-Nov12-NovEarn-a-buck2
Maplewood State Park4-Nov7-NovEither-Sex2
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve4-Nov12-NovEither-Sex5
Glacial Lakes State Park9-Nov12-NovAntlerless only1
Wild River State Park4-Nov5-NovEither-Sex2
Lawrence Unit of the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area11-Nov12-NovEither-Sex2
Old Mill State Park4-Nov7-NovEither-Sex1
Vermillion Highlands Research; Recreation and Wildlife Management Area4-Nov17-NovOther3
Whitewater State Park18-Nov19-NovEither-Sex3
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park4-Nov5-NovEither-Sex3
Whitewater State Game Refuge18-Nov26-NovAntlerless only2
Frontenac State Park18-Nov19-NovEither-Sex3
City of Baxter4-Nov19-NovEither-Sex5
City of Baxter19-Oct22-OctAntlerless only5
Great River Bluffs State Park and King's and Queen's Bluff Scientific and Natural Area18-Nov19-NovEither-Sex3
Carver Park Reserve11-Nov12-NovEither-Sex5
Kilen Woods State Park23-Dec1-JanAntlerless only2

Muzzleloader Season

Muzzleloader SeasonSeason Start DateSeason End DateHunt TypeBag Limit
Schoolcraft State Park25-Nov10-DecEither-Sex1
Beaver Creek Valley State Park2-Dec3-DecEither-Sex3
McCarthy Beach State Park25-Nov10-DecEither-Sex1
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park and Prairie Creek Woods Scientific and Natural Area2-Dec3-DecEarn-a-buck5
Rice Lake State Park2-Dec3-DecAntlerless only3
Jay Cooke State Park2-Dec6-DecEither-Sex2
Crow Wing State Park2-Dec6-DecEither-Sex2
Lake Vermilion - Soudan Underground Mine State Park25-Nov10-DecEither-Sex2
Hayes Lake State Park25-Nov10-DecEither-Sex2
Myre Big Island State Park2-Dec3-DecAntlerless only5
City of Baxter25-Nov10-DecEither-Sex5
Sibley State Park2-Dec3-DecAntlerless only2
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve2-Dec10-DecEither-Sex5
Vermillion Highlands Research; Recreation and Wildlife Management Area25-Nov10-DecOther3
Lake Bemidji State Park1-Dec3-DecEither-Sex2
Savanna Portage State Park25-Nov3-DecEither-Sex2
St. Croix State Park28-Nov3-DecEither-Sex1
Lake Maria State Park8-Dec10-DecEarn-a-buck2
Afton State Park5-Dec7-DecAntlerless only2

No Permit Hunt

No Permit HuntMethodSeason DateHunt TypeBag Limit
City of JacksonArcherySept. 16 Dec. 31Antlerless only2
Carver Rapids and Thompson Ferry Units of the Minnesota Valley SRAArcherySept. 16 to Dec. 31Either to sex5
Greenleaf Lake SRAArcherySept. 16 to Dec. 31Either to sex1
Schoolcraft State ParkFirearmNov. 4 to 19Either to sex1
City of Grand RapidsFirearmNov. 4 to 19Either to sex5
Franz Jevne State ParkFirearmNov. 4 to 19Either to sex3
Itasca State ParkFirearmNov. 4 to 12Either to sex1
Itasca State ParkMuzzleloaderNov. 25 to Dec. 10Either to sex1
City of Grand RapidsMuzzleloaderNov. 25 to Dec. 10Either to sex5
Schoolcraft State ParkMuzzleloaderNov. 25 to Dec. 10Either to sex1

CWD Management Hunt

•    December 15-17, 2023

MN Youth Deer Hunt

Youth Archery Season

Youth archery SeasonSeason Start DateSeason End DateHunt TypeBag Limit
Camp RipleyOct.7Oct.8Either sex2

Youth Firearms Season

MN Youth Firearm SeasonSeason Start DateSeason End DateHunt TypeBag Limit
Afton State Park4-Nov5-NovEither sex2
Banning State Park28-Oct29-OctEither sex2
Blue Mounds State Park18-Nov19-NovEarn-a-buck2
Buffalo River State Park28-Oct29-OctEarn-a-buck2
Camden State Park28-Oct29-OctEarn-a-buck2
City of Baxter19-Oct22-OctEither sex2
Kilen Woods State Park28-Oct29-OctEarn-a-buck2
Lake Bemidji State Park20-Oct22-OctEither sex2
Lake Bronson State Park14-Oct15-OctEither sex1
Lake Shetek State Park18-Nov19-NovAntlerless2
Minneopa State Park18-Nov19-NovEither sex2
Rydell National Wildlife Refuge28-Oct29-OctEither sex3
Savanna Portage State Park28-Oct29-OctEither sex2
Sibley State Park28-Oct29-OctEither sex1
St Croix State Park28-Oct29-OctEither sex1
Zippel Bay State Park20-Oct22-OctEither sex2

Minnesota Deer Hunting Regulations

Deer hunting in Minnesota is governed by a number of laws:

  • Hunting for deer is prohibited while using bait of any kind as a hunting aid.
  • In order to comply with state restrictions, hunters must harvest large game using only authorized equipment.
  • All hunters using weapons throughout the hunt must only use licensed ammo.
  • A minimum of one antler on a legal deer must be three inches in length.
  • Button bucks, commonly referred to as fawn bucks, are not regarded as lawful bucks.
  • Deer without antlers are those without antlers that are at least 3 inches long.
  • When hunting, it’s essential to be able to tell an elk from a deer.
  • A new rule allows archery deer license holders to crossbow hunt during the archery deer season. The hunter must be 10 years of age or older to use a crossbow.
  • When utilizing ground blinds on public property, hunters must use blaze orange.
  • The Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management zone now includes a number of deer permit zones that have been given new names.
  • Tagging a lawful buck or antlerless deer for other party members who are using a juvenile license is no longer permitted.
  • Some wildlife management areas in the northwest permit the nighttime storage of portable deer stands.
  • Hunters who legally take down an escaped farmed deer or elk must notify the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of the occurrence within 24 hours. If a hunter takes down a deer or an elk with ear tags or other identification, they must get in touch with a conservation officer.
  • Only nontoxic ammunition may be owned and used by participants in special hunts or disease control hunts in state parks or protected natural areas.
  • Limited participation and special registration via the appropriate channels are required for special hunts in a variety of locations, including state parks.

Minnesota Deer Hunting Licenses and Fees

Depending on resident status, age, and the kind of weapons used, a variety of licensing alternatives are available:

License TypeFee (USD)
Bonus Firearms/Archery/Muzzleloader$18
Youth (Age 13-17)$5
Youth (Age 10-12)Free
Early Antlerless Tags$8.50
Disease Management Licenses$1.50
Small Game (Discounted)Varies
Sports (Discounted)Varies
Lifetime (Discounted)Varies
Bonus Firearms/Archery/Muzzleloader$91
Youth (Age 13-17)$5
Youth (Age 10-12)Free
Small Game (Discounted)$102
Sports (Discounted)$57
Lifetime (Discounted)Varies

Minnesota Deer Hunting Areas and Zones

For deer hunting, Minnesota has a permission area system. Numbers in the 100, 200, or 300 series designate permit areas:

  • 100 series – Northeastern region with more intensive deer management. Lottery for buck tags.
  • 200 series – Southern farmland region with hunter choice licenses.
  • 300 series – Northern forested region with hunter choice licenses.

Zones delineate precise geographic borders within each region where various tag numbers, seasons, and/or laws are applicable. DNR publications include maps and zone information.

Special hunts may be possible in state parks, scientific areas, and other locations, but they need requesting for and paying for certain access licenses.

Deer Population Trends and Management

With almost a million deer, Minnesota has the greatest whitetail population in all of North America. Deer populations have stabilized around target levels in the majority of permit areas because to rigorous DNR management after their recovery from record lows in the early 2000s.

Depending on factors like the weather during shooting seasons, the annual harvest of deer normally varies from 130,000 to 180,000. The ratio of bucks with and without antlers is controlled to be 60:40.

A healthy deer population will be kept under constant observation and control in harmony with the available environment. Hunters may take part in Minnesota’s world-class deer hunting by being familiar with season dates, regulations, and other details.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the 2023 Minnesota firearm deer season?

In Minnesota, the normal firearms deer season runs from November 4 through November 19, 2023, and from November 4 through November 12, 2023, in the 200 and 300 series zones. In the 300 series regions, there is also a late season from November 18–26, 2023.

What is the youth deer hunting season in Minnesota?

From October 19–22, 2023, youth in the age range of 10–15 may go hunting. One deer of each sex may be taken by a licensed youngster. Special rules apply, including an exemption from the blazing orange mandate.

How much does a non-resident deer license cost in Minnesota?

Licenses for muzzleloaders, archery, and firearms for non-residents cost $185 apiece. License bonuses cost $91. Teenage licenses cost $5 for ages 13 to 17 and are free for kids 10 to 12.

When does the archery season open in Minnesota?

Beginning on September 16, 2023, the archery season will go continuously until December 31, 2023. For 3.5 months, bow- and crossbow-hunting is permitted.

What deer can you shoot during the Minnesota early antlerless season?

Only antlerless deer, which are those without antlers longer than 3 inches, may be taken during the early antlerless season, which runs from October 19 to 22, 2023. Open only in certain places with permits.

Is baiting allowed for deer hunting in Minnesota?

No, it is against the law in Minnesota to bait deer for the purpose of hunting. Deer drawn to or feasting on bait are off-limits to hunters.

Do you need blaze orange for archery hunting in Minnesota?

Except for when the guns and archery seasons coincide in Minnesota, blaze orange is not needed. It is advised to increase visibility, however.

What time does shooting hours end during firearms deer season in Minnesota?

During the guns season, shooting is permitted from 30 minutes before dawn to sunset. The DNR Hunting Regulations manual has a list of times each year.

How many deer can you take in one season in Minnesota?

The average hunter may take down up to 5 deer in all over the different seasons. During the normal firearms season, only one buck may be taken out of each of them.

Can you use rifles for deer hunting in Minnesota?

Yes, shotguns, muzzleloaders, and rifles that use authorized ammo are legal weaponry for deer hunting. Certain hunt zones have restrictions. Observe the laws.

James Ellis

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