Newsroom Midwest Region

Date: September 30, 2009

Contact: Maggie Anderson
218-449-4115, ext. 202

Youth Deer Firearms Hunt - Oct. 17-18, 2009

* 14,825 acres open to hunting on Agassiz Refuge for Youth Deer Weekend

A portion of Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge will be open for the first time for the Youth Deer Hunt on October 17 and 18. Pre-hunt scouting is allowed on Friday October 16; 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. No registration is required. The Northeastern section of the Refuge will be open to youth hunters. Access to the area is from the north on 270th Ave. N.E. (Northgate Road) and from the south on County Road 7 (290th St N.E.) and intersection with the Lost Bay Habitat Drive and the east boundary road. The area is adjacent to and west of the state Eckvoll Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is also open to youth deer hunting. See attached map. Maps are available at the Refuge Office, kiosks, and on the web at

State regulations apply and additional refuge regulations as follows:

Minnesota DNR Rule Summary

Northwest Minnesota Special Youth Antlerless Season- October 17-18
All of Kittson, Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, and Pennington Counties are included. Old Mill State Park, Lake Bronson State Park, Hayes Lake State Park, and Zippel Bay State Park are open to taking antlerless deer by eligible youth. Private lands in these counties are open (with permission from the landowner), as are state, federal and county lands that are normally open to hunting.
• There are no limits on the number of participants.
• Participants must obtain a valid firearms deer license before they hunt. The license may be for any zone or season option. There is no special license for this season.
• Participants must be age 12, 13, or 14 at the time of the hunt.
• An adult mentor, who may not be armed, must accompany the hunter at all times.
• Only 1 antlerless deer may be taken during the hunt.
• Blaze orange is required for all hunters and adult mentors.
• Participating in this Youth Antlerless Season does not preclude one from hunting the regular deer seasons, but harvested deer count against the annual bag limit.

Agassiz NWR-Specific Rules
• Pre-hunt scouting is allowed within the Refuge on Friday, Oct. 16; 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• On Saturday & Sunday access gates will open at 6:30 a.m.
• No permanent stands are permitted; portable stands only.
• Non-motorized boats may be used.
• No ATVs; non-motorized bikes may be used on grassy dikes.
• Vehicles can be parked in designated parking lots or along edges of roadways (leave room for other vehicles to drive by).
• Although not mandatory, Refuge staff request that youth check in any harvested deer before leaving the Refuge. Staff will be present during the hunt (north & south parking lots & office) during most of the weekend.
• Youth hunter registration boxes will be present in the hunting area. Please complete the voluntary information sheet at some point during each day you hunt.
• See Agassiz NWR Deer Hunting Regulation brochure for additional regulations.
• All other wildlife species are protected and cannot be killed or captured.

“Youth Deer Hunting Area”signs will be posted along easily viewable boundaries. The Office will be open and staffed both Saturday and Sunday during hunting hours.

In late February of 2009 the deer population in Permit Area 203 (comprised of Agassiz Refuge and two adjoining State Wildlife Management Areas) was 1,593. The February 2009 population estimate was 1.5% lower than the previous year. During the 2009 hunting season, Permit Area 203 is slated for the Intensive Hunting framework, which means that during the regular deer seasons hunters can shoot up to five antlerless deer. Permit Area 203 is slated for this liberal hunting framework due to the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in deer to the northeast of Agassiz Refuge and the Minnesota DNR’s need to reduce deer density in the surrounding area.

Opening of this first youth deer hunt on Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge was on hold for the last three years due to a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the US. The dispute was settled on August 29, 2008.

Refuge headquarters is located 11 miles east of Holt, Minnesota on Marshall County Road 7 (290th St. NE). If you need more information, please call the 218-449-4115, ext. 211 or dial 0 for operator assistance. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on weekdays You can also call the local Minnesota DNR office in Thief River Falls (218-681-2091) for questions related to hunting on the adjoining state WMA lands.

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