Top 10 Things to Know for Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener

Season begins half an hour before sunrise on Saturday, November 5, 2016

Halloween excitement is quickly followed by hunting plans and blaze orange, as the Minnesota firearms deer hunting season kicks off on Saturday, November 5 a half an hour before sunrise.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds the public of the following, when hunting in Minnesota:

Chronic Wasting Disease Sampling in Southeast:
Hunters in southeastern Minnesota, who harvest a deer during the 3A and 3B firearms seasons are encouraged to have their deer sampled for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at one of 30 locations. Due to the expansion of CWD in Iowa and Wisconsin, the DNR will be conducting CWD surveillance ind eer areas 339 and 349 during the firearm season, and area that includes nearly all the 300 series permit areas. For locations and more info head over to

Buy License and Check Regulations:
The DNR encourages hunters to purchase licenses ahead of time, to avoid long lines and any potential system issues associated with the high sales volume. Click here for license information.

Hunters are also urged to review regulations, permit area designations, and boundary changes:

Register Deer:
Hunters are reminded to register deer before processing, before antlers are removed, and within 48 hours after taking the animal. Deer can be registered by phone, internet, or in-person:

In-person registration will be required in deer permit areas 339 to 349, during the 3A and 3B firearms deer seasons.

Learn to Hunt with a Mentor:
Someone who wants to try hunting but doesn’t have a firearm will be able to use the apprentice hunter validation. The validation is a short-term exception to the requirement for completing hunter firearms safety training and can be purchased where hunting licenses are sold. Details:

Projected Harvest:
The DNR is projecting that the 2016 total harvest will be between 165,000 and 185,000 deer. The 2015 total harvest was a little more than 159,000.

Deer Plan:
The DNR is developing the state’s first ever deer management plan, which includes setting a statewide harvest objective; addressing regional variations in deer habitat and populations; and describing and guiding the DNR’s responsibilities and activities related to deer management.

No Whole Deer Carcasses Allowed to Enter Minnesota:
Hunters who harvest deer outside the state are reminded that whole deer carcasses are no longer allowed to be brought into Minnesota from anywhere in North America. The new restriction includes all members of the deer family – deer, elk, moose, and caribou) is an effort to respond to the increasing prevalence and geographic spread of CWD.

Stoke the Digital Campfire:
Want to share your deer camp or stories? Hunters are encouraged to use #DeerCampMN on Twitter and Facebook. #MNDeerOpener, will include activity from the festivities at Breezy Point Resort during the 2016 Minnesota Governor’s Hunting Opener.

Celebrating Tradition at Governor’s Opener:
Each year, the Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener celebrates the state’s deer hunting tradition. A deer hunting expo is open to the public, starts at 4 p.m. Thursday November 3, at Breezy Point Resort, and features a variety of hunting-related activities.

Info Center Expanded Hours:
To provide better year-round customer service, the DNR Information Center, is expanding their hours for phone calls only. Beginning on November 2, hours will be expanded from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.