Opening dates for many of the 2001 Minnesota hunting seasons were announced this week by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The dates are being announced now for the benefit of those who must establish vacation or hunting plans well in advance. Although these dates are tentative, pending final approval in June, it is unlikely they will change.
General small game, including grouse,gray partridge, rabbits and squirrels Sept. 15
Pheasant Oct. 13
Spring wild turkey (first season) April 18
Fall wild turkey (first season) Oct. 17
Bear Aug. 22
Deer - archery Sept. 15
Deer - firearms Nov. 3
Deer - muzzleloader Nov. 24
Moose - northeast zone Sept. 29
Fox, raccoon Open continuously
Mink, muskrat, beaver, otter (no zones) Oct. 27
Fisher, marten, bobcat (to be announced)
Early Canada goose Sept. 1
Youth Waterfowl Day (to be announced)
General duck and goose Sept. 29 (tentative)
Rails, snipe Sept. 1
Woodcock Sept. 22
Crow March 1-31 and July 15-Oct. 15
As previously announced, the DNR plans to go back to annual moose seasons in 2001. Details will be announced in early May after moose surveys are completed in late winter.
The bear season is proposed to again open about a week earlier than the standard Sept. 1 opener. The 2001 season is scheduled to open Wednesday, Aug. 22. The earlier opener is part of an attempt to increase harvests and reduce bear nuisance and damage problems.
The DNR will be taking comments at wildlife hunting and trapping season public input meetings in February on proposals to continue or expand youth waterfowl hunting days and to move the fisher, marten and bobcat opener a few days earlier so that it always coincides with the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Other proposed regulation changes to be discussed at the February public input meetings will be announced in late January.
Additional details on season lengths, quotas and bag limits will be announced next summer after the 2001 seasons are finalized.