Jay Cooke State Park limits public access during special Deer Hunt

Jay Cooke State Park will have limited access to the public Dec. 2nd through Dec. 6th. for visitors outside of the campground, the office area, River Inn area and the Munger Trail. There is a special a special muzzleloader hunt to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources.

The swinging bridge will remain accessible to visitors but they should not access any areas south of the bridge. All hiking trails at Jay Cooke State Park will be closed.

Visitors are advised to wear blaze orange or brightly colored clothing if they are in the park during the hunt. Visitors should also check for hunt-related information on the park website and at the park office, if open, upon arrival. All visitors should follow any hunt-related signage posted in the park.

The deadlines have passed for youth and adults to apply for the permits to participate in the hunt. This includes regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options.

“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for Minnesota State Parks and Trails. “When there are too many deer in a park, they feed too much on certain trees and native plants, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a way to protect natural resources.”

Beginning this fall, all state park and state recreation area special hunts require use of only non-toxic (non-lead) ammunition. Non-toxic ammunition protects animals such as bald eagles, ravens and bobcats from ingesting lead while feeding on deer gutpiles. It takes only a very small amount of lead to cause lead poisoning in wildlife.

For details, visit the DNR deer hunting page. Also for other hunting stories you can read more here.