Limited access to select state parks during special hunts

Some Northland state parks will have limited access to visitors during upcoming special deer hunts, beginning this weekend and continuing through the rest of the year. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the special hunts are used to prevent overpopulation of deer and to protect resources.

Portions of the parks will remain open to non-hunters during the hunt, however visitors are advised to wear blaze orange or brightly-colored clothing if they will be in the park while the hunt is in progress.

Visitors should check for hunt-related information on the park website and at the park office when they arrive.

  • Banning State Park: October 29-30
  • Savanna Portage State Park: October 29-30 and December 3-11
  • Cascade River State Park: November 5-20
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park: November 5-20
  • Judge C.R. Magney State Park: November 5-20
  • Scenic State Park: November 5-20
  • Schoolcraft State Park: November 5-20 and November 26-December 11
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park: November 5-20
  • Tettegouche State Park: November 5-20
  • Lake Vermilion Soudan Underground Mine State Park: November 26-December 31
  • McCarthy Beach State Park: fully CLOSED October 28-29, limited November 26-December 11
  • Crow Wing State Park: December 3-7
  • Jay Cooke State Park: December 3-7

“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” Natural Resource Program coordinator for Minnesota State Parks and Trails, Tavis Westbrook said in a press release. “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 and bring the deer population back into better balance.”

The DNR says hunts will also take place at some other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this fall, and access to these areas will vary. Visitors will need to check online for which areas of each park affected by the special deer hunts can also be found in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park website pages at, visit or contact the DNR Information Center at or call 888-646-6367 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sat.).