Every fall, hundreds of thousands of hunters clad in blaze orange head out in search of Minnesota's white-tailed deer. For many people, hunting deer during the firearms season is just as much about renewing friendships, maintaining family traditions, and fostering a deep connection with nature as it is bagging a buck.
Minnesota's Varied Landscapes
Minnesota's county, federal and state lands contains four distinct biomes, all of which provide diverse habitats for thriving deer populations. The Minnesota DNR alone offers nearly 1.3 million acres of wildlife management areas throughout the state, many of which offer high-quality deer hunting unlike anything you'd see in Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa or Illinois.
The bluff country of southeast Minnesota offers some of the most stunning scenery around, with deep valleys and meandering streams and rivers as prominent natural features. Hunters lodging in big cities such as Rochester or small towns such as Lanesboro have easy access to thousands of acres of prime hunting land within this deciduous forest biome.
Hunters who prefer the more open terrain of grasslands and prairies can headquarter in cities such as Marshall, Fairmont and Montevideo in the southwest, while those who prefer a mix of prairie and deciduous forest may choose Fergus Falls and Morris in central Minnesota.
The beauty of public land is everyone is allowed the same access. Still, hunters may find that someone else has chosen the same location.
To avoid this situation, plan to walk as far away from the road as possible since most hunters often stay within several hundred yards of their vehicles. Another option is to find the heaviest cover available and choose that as your base. Deer may live in such areas, or they may be pushed into those areas to escape hunting pressure.
When hunting public land, please be respectful of the land; anything brought in, such as food and beverage containers or ground blinds and temporary deer stands, must be removed.
Want to know the best spots in Minnesota? How about tips on how to make the most of your time in a specific city? Our Minnesota experts can answer your questions, offer advice, or plan the perfect Minnesota trip for you. For free.