From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
-- Minnesota's 2010 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook is now available wherever hunting and angling licenses are sold, online at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/index.html, as well as DNR offices across the state.
Hunters should familiarize themselves with the regulations book before the hunting season begins, since there are a number of new regulations.
"The changes are aimed at providing more recreational opportunity, streamlining regulations, or improving wildlife management."Merchant said hunters should review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before the September application deadline for either-sex deer permits in lottery areas, and for all special hunts.
Hunters should note that numerous deer permit area boundaries in central and northern Minnesota have changed.
These changes do not affect season length or license requirements. They were made to better align boundaries with public and private land and associated deer densities. In most cases, the permit area numbers have changed so hunters should consult the 2010 fold-out map prior to purchasing a license.
This year hunters can apply for lottery deer areas and special hunts using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. Previously, a person could apply using only one license. The deadline for lottery and special hunt applications is Thursday, Sept. 9. Although a hunter can be selected for both licenses, successful applicants still can only take one deer. In the case of special hunts, a person may draw both a firearm and muzzleloader permit, in which case they must adhere to the bag limits established by each special hunt.
2010 lottery deer areas are 103, 108, 118, 119, 127, 152, 155, 169, 171, 172, 173, 176, 183, 184, 197, 218, 219, 223, 224, 229, 230, 235, 238, 246, 247, 250, 251, 252, 253, 255, 258, 259, 262, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 283, 285, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 299, 338A, 338B, 347A, 347B.
Several new regulations are being implemented in all 300-series deer areas. These regulations are in effect for the archery, 3A and 3B firearms, and muzzleloader seasons. The regulations include:
. Institute a four-point to one side antler point restriction. Only bucks that have at least one four-point antler can be legally harvested. This regulation will be in place during all seasons (archery, 3A, 3B, muzzleloader). Youth hunters age 10 - 17 do not have to comply with the regulation; they can continue to take any antlered buck. However, adults cannot take an antlered deer for a youth hunter.
. Prohibit buck cross-tagging. In all 300 series deer areas, hunters cannot tag antlered bucks for each other. Hunters can still take and tag antlerless deer for each other.
. Lengthen the 3A season to nine days. The 3A season will be from Nov. 6-14.
Also, several deer permit areas in southeast and northwest Minnesota will be open for a special youth deer season from Oct. 21-24.
The season will provide an opportunity for parents, guardians and mentors to schedule and plan a special deer hunt with youth. Youth ages 10-15 at the time of the hunt may participate and take a deer of either sex. Adults may not carry a firearm. Public land is open as is private land, provided the youth hunter has landowner permission.
Participants must meet all firearms safety requirements and obtain a license for taking deer by firearm. Deer permit areas open during the youth season are: 101, 105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, and 601.
This year, hunters have three ways they can register harvested deer. DNR will retain the walk-in registration stations that have been used in years past. New this year is the option of using the telephone or internet as well. Certain areas will be blocked from phone or internet registration because of disease surveillance or special regulations. Hunters can find detailed information in the 2010 regulations booklet.