For most deer hunters in the Brainerd lakes area, Thursday is the last day to get in on the lottery for a doe tag.
After that, hunters who have not applied for the either-sex permit lottery will be restricted to taking only bucks in areas 154 in southwest Aitkin and eastern Crow Wing County; 246 in southern Cass and northeast Wadena counties; 247 central Crow Wing County; and 249 in southern Crow Wing, northern Morrison and northwest Mille Lacs counties.
Deer hunters can apply for the either-sex deer lottery where they would normally buy their deer license and will be informed by mail if they are picked. Leftover either-sex permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at 5 p.m. on Oct. 13.
"Don't count on leftover permits being available," said Lou Cornicelli, big game program coordinator for the DNR. "Last year, very few permits remained after the lottery drawing."
It's been several years since there was a either-sex deer license lottery in areas 154, 246, 247 and 249. Those areas, said Steve Merchant, DNR wildlife programs manager in St. Paul, were under managed or had intensive harvest regulations in order to meet deer population goals set about five years ago.
"Due to fact there's been more aggressive hunting there the last few years, we've gotten the deer population down to where the local deer manager wants it," Merchant said. "Now we're going back to a more typical situation."
A complete list of lottery areas is available in the 2008 Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, at the DNR Web site at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer and at all 1,800 deer license vendors.
Hunters also can download comprehensive 2008 deer season information from the DNR's Web site. The overview does not replace the regulations but provides more detailed information, larger maps and a list of frequently asked questions.
Also new for 2008:
The all-season deer and multi-zone buck licenses have been eliminated. Hunters can now purchase 3 stand-alone licenses for archery, firearm and muzzleloader.
The traditional firearm zone licenses (1A, 2A, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B) have been consolidated into two licenses types: a statewide license, which is valid in any open area in which deer hunting begins on Nov. 8; or 3B zone license, valid only during the traditional 3B season in southeastern Minnesota which begins Nov. 22.
All firearm deer hunters may now buy a muzzleloader license.
All centerfire cartridges .220 or greater are legal for big game hunting.
Though site tagging requirements have not changed, hunters no longer need to validate their deer license at the time of kill.
A person 10 or 11 years old may hunt big game provided they are in direct supervision of a parent or guardian.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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