William O’Brien State Park will be closed to all visitors on Nov. 14 and 15 for a special deer management hunt. The purpose for the hunt is to control the deer population and protect natural resources. 

Hunts also will take place at other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this fall, and access to the parks will vary. Some will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited public access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits. The deadlines have passed for youth and adults to apply for the permits to participate in the special deer hunts at parks, which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options.

“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, natural resource program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “When there are too many deer in a park, they feed too much on certain trees and native plants, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a way to protect natural resources.”

The DNR thanks visitors for their attention and adherence to safety measures and closures during the hunts.

For a list of the locations, dates and access restrictions for state park special deer hunts in 2020, visit the access to state parks during hunting season page, contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or call 888-646-6367 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday). Details on which areas of each park affected by the special deer hunts can also be found in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park website pages.

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