2021 Deer Hunting Opener and Regulations In Minnesota

Minnesota Deer Season runs from September 18 - December 31. Whether you are a seasoned hunter, or this is your first time, it’s always smart to make sure you have a plan and understand the regulations for the year. This blog will provide you with several resources so that you have all the information you need!

Figuring Out Your Permit Area

The first step to buying your hunting license is figuring out the permit area you will be hunting in. A person with an archery license can hunt within any permit area except for 287 (Itasca State Park). It is important to understand that different permit areas also have different bag limits.  Click here to view the Minnesota 2021 Deer Season Area Map.

Minnesota 2021 Deer Season Area Map Deer Permit Area Bag Limit

Buying Your License

Now that you've figured out what permit area you are hunting in, it's time to buy your license. You can purchase a license online, via phone or in-person at an approved location.

Purchase a Hunting License Online

Click here to purchase a hunting license online. When purchasing a hunting license online, it is important to make sure that you only purchase from the DNR website. Make sure to allow 5-10 business days for license tags, permits and passes to arrive via U.S. postal mail. 

Purchase a Hunting License By Phone

You can purchase licenses by phone at 1-888-665-4236. This toll-free line is open 24/7 and provides immediate licensing. At the end of the call, you will receive your license number, which will be valid until your receive an actual license via mail. 

Purchase a Hunting License In-Person

Click here to view approved locations to buy your license in-person.

Understand The Regulations

It is important to refresh your memory on the regulations of the state you are hunting in each year and to learn about regulations that have changed. Each state and permit area has different regulations that are important to understand and follow. 

  • Your bow must have a pull no less than 30 pounds at or before full draw.
  • Your arrowheads must have a minimum of two metal cutting edges, be barbless and have a diameter of at least 7/8 inch. Expandable arrowheads may be used if they meet the criteria above and their width is no more than 2 inches after impact.
  • You cannot hunt with a bow drawn, held or released by a mechanical device unless you possess a hunting disability permit. You may use a hand-held mechanical release attached to the bowstring if your own strength draws and holds the bowstring.
  • Crossbows must have a stock at least 30 inches long, deliver at least 42 pounds of energy at 10 feet and have a safety. Bolts (arrows) must be at least 10 inches long.
  • The number and sex of deer that you can harvest depends upon where you hunt. In some places you are limited to harvesting only one buck. In other places you can harvest a buck or doe or even as many deer without antlers as you like. It’s important to know what deer management area you are in prior to drawing your bow.
  • A buck is considered legal if it has one antler at least 3 inches long. Fawn bucks, sometimes called button bucks, are not legal bucks.
  • You need to tag your deer at the kill site and register it. Deer must be registered within 48 hours after the deer was taken and before the deer is processed either privately or personally.

Click here to download the 2021 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations

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