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Hunters in portions of southeastern Minnesota can once again harvest antlerless deer in an early antlerless-only season from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Sunday, Oct. 21, in deer permit areas 346, 348, 349 and 603 in Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted and Winona counties, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“The goal of this hunt is to reduce the deer populations in these areas with higher deer densities because of damage to agricultural crops and increased risk of chronic wasting disease spreading,” said Erik Thorson, acting big game program leader. “Any antlerless deer harvested as part of this hunt do not count against an individual’s normal statewide or deer permit area bag limit, so they can be considered extra deer.”

Deer populations in permit areas 346, 348 and 349 have been over the population goals established in 2014 for multiple seasons. The antlerless-only season is intended to help move populations toward established goals, reduce damage to resources and provide additional hunting opportunity.

How to participate

Public land is limited in the early antlerless hunt areas and hunters need to ask permission to hunt private lands.

All deer must be tagged with an appropriate permit. There are a few permit and license options for those who want to participate.

With at least one valid early antlerless permit, and a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas.

With bonus permits and at least one valid early antlerless permit, as well as a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas.

In permit area 603 with disease management tags. Any hunter of legal age may purchase and use an unlimited number of disease management tags to harvest antlerless deer during

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