Some Park Rapids deer hunters must apply for lottery by 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 Park Rapids have changed, so hunters should double check whether they are in a lottery area.
New permit area numbers 258 and 259 replace the old numbers 244 and 245, respectively. Permit areas 172, 241 and 246 have been expanded and the old permit area 243 has been eliminated.
Nearly half of Minnesota's deer permit areas are now lottery areas, a comparable number from last year, said Rob Naplin, Park Rapids Area Wildlife Manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
These permit areas were designated lottery because deer populations in these areas are at or below deer population goals.
"Each year, we estimate deer numbers using a population model that considers harvest and over-winter survival. We then use that information to determine which areas to designate as lottery," said Naplin.
In lottery deer areas, firearms and muzzleloader hunters may only harvest a buck unless they apply for and receive an either-sex permit, which allows them to harvest an antlerless deer.
For 2010, all firearm and muzzleloader hunters must apply if they want to take a deer of either sex. Successful applicants will be able to take an antlerless deer only during the season and deer area listed on the application. "For example, if you apply for the permit for the muzzleloader season, it's not valid during 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 permit.
"The statewide bag limit of one deer in lottery areas still applies, regardless of the permit in your pocket," Naplin 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 by permit area are: 2,000 in permit area 172; 2,500 in 197; 5,500 in 246; 300 in 251; 2,000 in 258; and 3,000 in 259. Lottery winners will receive permits via U.S. mail. Hunters may apply for an either-sex permit through any Electronic License System agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by calling (888) 665-4236.
Bonus permits cannot be used in lottery deer areas, regardless of weapon type. Hunters who are unsuccessful in the lottery may only harvest a legal buck throughout the season in 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.