Minnesotans gear up for safe deer-hunting firearms season

Staff writer Sean Morawczynski discusses the upcoming season and precautions to take

Most people recognize that November marks the end of autumn and the beginning of snowfall and cold weather.

For hundreds of thousands of people in Minnesota, November brings the annual firearms deer season.

Hunters will crawl from their respective deer camps out into the woods and fields across the North Star state starting on November 4 this year. Preparations need to be made in order to stay safe while in the deer stand.

Before any hunting occurs, a firearms license must be purchased. Anyone who wants to purchase a hunting license in Minnesota (who is born after Dec. 31, 1979) must receive a DNR Firearms Certification which can be done by taking a course through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

One resident-firearms license costs $30.00 and is valid for either sex deer in any managed or intensive area or in a lottery area if successful in the lottery, according to the MNDNR site. Licenses can be purchased online at mn.dnr.org, by phone at 1-888-MN-LICEN (665-4236) or through DNR License Agents which can also be found on the DNR website.

It’s an important part of staying safe to know all the rules and regulations of Minnesota-firearms hunting. Make sure to pick up a copy of the rulebook or go to the DNR website to find one.

There are many aspects to ensuring a safe and warm hunt. Once the legal boxes are checked, it’s time to plan for the hours upon hours of sitting and waiting, listening to the sounds of nature out in the cold.

Minnesota State, Mankato student Carter Friesen joins his family in the Crookston area every firearms season since he was 12-years-old.

“It’s good seeing my family get together,” Friesen said. “I go with my uncle and dad’s friends too. I enjoy the peace out there.”

In order to stay warm, Friesen wears many layers of clothes and like many others, has his own techniques to prevent freezing.

“I’ll bring a ton of hand warmers and put a bunch of them in my boots,” Friesen said. “I always have a giant thermos of coffee or hot chocolate too. I’ve never been super-cold.”

In order to avoid being seen by the deer they are in pursuit of, hunters need to use elevated stands, as falling from a stand can be dangerous. Following safety standards when installing a stand is crucial to preventing an incident, and hunters should never enter or exit a stand with a loaded gun.

Gun safety is obviously the most important piece of deer hunting. It’s always important to know where other hunters are at all times, even when not holding a firearm, shots can go astray. To help with visibility, Minnesota requires deer hunters to wear either blaze pink or blaze orange clothing.

“Especially because I use a rifle, I don’t want to shoot at an upwards angle when I’m on ground level,” Friesen said. “There could be a house a mile down the road that you don’t know about.”

Any question related to hunting regulations or safety concerns should be looked up via the DNR, whether that is in the rulebook or contacting local conservation officers to provide answers. If hunters see any suspicious poaching activity or concerns, they can call 1-800-652-9093 or fill out a form on the DNR’s website.

Consciousness of the rules and regulations of hunting is the number one most important aspect to hunting. Focusing on the solitude of a deer stand and enjoying nature is an important side to deer hunting as well.

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