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Itasca State Park offers opportunity

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials remind hunters that Itasca State Park is open to deer hunting (deer area 287) by any licensed hunter during the regular firearms season, which runs Nov. 5-13. The park is located in an "intensive deer area." Those who hunt in an intensive deer area may take five deer total, of which one can be a buck. No application for an either-sex permit is required.

Separate from the regular rifle season hunt, the park also is holding a special permit muzzleloader hunt Nov. 26-27 and Dec. 3-4. Any hunter can buy a muzzleloader license, including people who have bought a firearm license. The license is valid for either-sex deer in any managed or intensive area. Permits are still available and will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis by the park.

"We want hunters to be clear that the park is offering two separate seasons with different licensing and permitting requirements," said Chris Gronewold, Itasca State Park resource specialist. "The regular rifle season is open to any licensed hunter, and the muzzleloader season is by a special permit and we have plenty available."

New for 2011, the antler point restriction has been discontinued due to the park's intensive deer area designation.

"The park offers excellent deer hunting opportunities this year," said Gronewold. "We encourage hunters to take advantage of the high deer population in the area, and come out and hunt the park."