Minnesota firearms deer hunting season is fast approaching, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced a move designed to protect recreational riders of off-highway vehicles from potentially unsafe riding conditions and to avoid potential conflicts between deer hunters and riders.

According to the DNR, recreational use of off-highway vehicles will be restricted on some state forest trails and access routes during the upcoming firearms deer hunting season. The restrictions do not apply to state forest roads.

Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and registered off-road vehicles, such as four-wheel drive trucks.

It's important to note that licensed deer hunters may still travel these routes on an off-highway vehicle during the following time periods in conjunction with their hunting activity:

  • Before legal shooting time.
  • From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • After legal shooting hours.
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The DNR says the following dates are when the recreational riding restrictions will be in place:

  • November 4 - 19 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer permit areas
  • November 4- 12 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer permit areas.

Because off-highway vehicle trails in southeastern Minnesota close on November 1 each year, no additional riding restrictions are necessary in that area.

“Recreational OHV riding has become a year-round sport for many people, but it’s important to keep safety as the top priority during deer hunting season,” said Joe Unger, Minnesota DNR OHV consultant. “We thank everyone in advance for their attention to safety when visiting state forests this fall.”

Those looking to see the status of a specific trail are invited to visit the off-highway vehicle trail closures webpage.

Related: Minnesota Deer Hunters Face Major Regulation Changes In 2023

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