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Lake Bemidji State Park will be open during special hunts

BEMIDJI — Special hunts to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources will take place this fall at several Minnesota state parks, including Lake Bemidji, and access to the parks will vary during these hunts.

Some parks will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits (closed to the general public).

Among the parks that will be open to the public during the special hunts are Lake Bemidji and Lake Itasca state parks.

The special hunts at Lake Bemidji State Park will be Oct. 19-20, Nov. 9-12 and Dec. 6-8. The hunts at Itasca State Park will be Oct. 12-13, Nov. 9-17 and Nov. 30-Dec. 15.

The LaSalle Lake State Recreation Area near Becida is open to all hunting activities.

DNR officials advice anyone planning to visit a state park between now and the end of December to look online or call ahead to find out whether a hunt is planned and confirm whether the park will be open. The DNR also advises visitors to parks where hunts are planned to wear blaze orange, even if they will not be hunting.

Visitors should check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive, look carefully for hunt-related signage and follow instructions.

“These annual resource management hunts help control the deer population at state parks,” said Ed Quinn, resource management consultant for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Too many deer in one area can negatively affect native plants and the health of the ecosystem. In managing natural resources, we’re always striving for a sustainable balance.”