The United States has many forests, but all them cannot be counted as public hunting lands. Compared to many other states, Minnesota can provide a fair number of public hunting lands for the eager hunter. Also, plenty of resources are available to provide information regarding these lands.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is a great place to start in locating Minnesota public hunting land maps.
In general, hunting land in Minnesota falls into the following categories: Wildlife Management areas, state forests, Wildlife Protection Areas, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and county owned land and Industrial Forest land.
The restrictions and hunting regulations can vary somewhat within each type of hunting land. The DNR can provide Minnesota public hunting land maps of where all state managed public hunting lands are located.
All the public hunting properties looked after by the state of Minnesota can be pinpointed on the Minnesota public hunting land maps. Hunting regulations and rules slightly vary in each type of land.
Finding good public hunting land can be difficult for any hunter. Even in states where forests still abound, public hunting lands can be scarce. However, those who live in Minnesota have access to more hunting land than residents of many other states.
Wildlife Management areas are typically wetlands, uplands or woods and are managed by the Department of Natural Resources. They are open to the public for hunting during regular hunting season.
According to all documentation all hunting areas in this state have been categorized as follows –
- Wildlife Management Areas.
- State Forests.
- Wildlife Protection Areas.
- National Wildlife Refuges.
- National Forests.
- Industrial Forest Lands.
- County-owned Lands.
Each kind of land is described below–
- The Department of Natural Resources looks after uplands, woods and wetlands listed as “Wildlife Management Areas”. Public hunting is allowed on these locations during the normal hunting season.
- There are 56 forests belonging to the state. Covering an area of three million acres, these “state forests” are home to animals like bear, deer, ruffled grouse and moose. The public is given access for hunting in these areas.
- Some areas are under federal protection, yet open for limited public hunting. These “Wildlife Protection Areas” consist of a few uplands and wetlands. The Minnesota Public Recreation Information (PRIM) maps will lend Minnesota public hunting land maps to search for these locations.
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service gives access to Minnesota public hunting land maps as well as hunting laws related to its 8 “National Wildlife Refuges”. Hunting is restricted to certain parts only, and the harvest allowed is limited.
- The 2 “National Forests” of the state are Superior and Chippewa. A hunter can get Minnesota public hunting land maps for directions to these northern forests from the US National Forest Service, since hunting is allowed on these properties.
- Large companies dealing with forest products also own “Industrial Forest Lands”. Hunters are generally allowed access to these properties during the regular hunting season, unless a company wants to use its land for another purpose.
- Landowners who have not been able to pay their taxes, lose their properties (generally forested areas) to the government. They are then considered as “County-owned Lands”. There are Minnesota public hunting land maps to provide directions as well as the list of hunting regulations to be followed. Each county has its own hunting laws. Also, the acreage varies from place to place.
Minnesota boasts 56 state forests that make up 3 million acres. Most of this acreage is open to public hunting. State forests contain moose, bear, ruffled grouse and deer.
Wildlife protection areas are federally managed wetlands and uplands. They are open to public hunting, but there may be catch limits. Minnesota public hunting land maps for these areas can be found by looking at the Minnesota Public Recreation Information (PRIM) maps.
Minnesota also has eight national wildlife refuges. Some portions of these refuges are open for hunting, but there are restrictions. You can obtain Minnesota public hunting land maps and regulations for these areas by contacting the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Minnesota has two national forests the Chippewa and the Superior. Both are located in the northern part of the state, and they are open to public hunting. For Minnesota public hunting land maps of these areas, contact the US National Forest Service.
Some counties in Minnesota also manage forested lands that are owned by the country due to tax defaults. The amount of acreage and hunting regulations on these areas vary by county. So, its wise to check with the county to obtain maps and to determine regulations.
Finally, there is industrial forest land in Minnesota, and much of it is open for public hunting. The lands are owned by large forest products companies. In general, the land is open for hunting unless it is posted otherwise. However, normal hunting laws and seasons apply. Often the lands are only open to visitors during hunting season.
So, as you can see, public hunting in Minnesota is fairly abundant. Check with the appropriate resources in your area to get the maps and information you need to find the perfect public hunting adventure right here in Minnesota.