Mentored Youth Deer Hunt set at Rydell NWR

ERSKINE -- Rydell National Wildlife Refuge will host a Mentored Youth Deer Hunt for children ages 12-15, Oct. 24-25, in cooperation with the Minnesota DNR. Interested youth must apply for this hunt no later than Aug. 14.

According to a release, Rydell is the only NWR in Minnesota that offers this "mentored" deer hunting opportunity. A total of 15 youth will be allowed to participate in the hunt. Participating youth will be required to hunt with a parent, guardian, or mentor.

They will be allowed to harvest up to three deer on the Refuge; only one of which can be antlered. One requirement for youth hunt participants is that they complete a mandatory orientation session. Normally, this session is held at the Refuge Visitor Center on the Sunday prior to the hunt. However, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the orientation will be done either virtually or through mailed out materials, the release said.

Successful hunt applicants will be informed of the final decisions related to the orientation, as well as other potential changes to the hunt which are necessary, due to COVID-19.

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Applications can be completed by Aug. 14 at any DNR license agent or online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense.

For more information, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/youth-deer-hunts.html or contact Refuge Manager Gregg Knutsen at (218) 686-4329 or gregg_knutsen@fws.gov.

Additionally, Rydell NWR has hosted a three-day Accessible Deer Hunt, for people with disabilities each year, since the mid-1990s. This year, the hunt will be held Oct. 8-10.

The hunt is primarily coordinated by the Options Interstate Resource Center for Independent Living in East Grand Forks. For more information, contact Randy Sorenson at (800) 726-3692.

Waterfowl hunting regulations available

ST. PAUL -- Duck and goose season dates and regulations are out and can be found on the DNR website, along with the 2020 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations handbook, and where DNR licenses are sold. Early Canada goose season begins Saturday, Sept. 5, and the regular duck and goose season opens Saturday, Sept. 26.

Waterfowl hunting licenses are on sale and are available at any DNR license agent, by phone at (888) 665-4236, or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense.

Special youth deer hunts: Apply through Aug. 14

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota has special hunting opportunities for youth deer hunters. There is a limited number of permits for each hunt, with the individual hunts taking place on various dates during the fall in state parks and a wildlife area.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 14. Details can be found on the DNR website. Special youth deer hunts are different from the statewide youth deer season that does not require an application and takes place Oct. 15-18.

Winner, winner, prairie chicken dinner?

St. PAUL -- Hunters can apply through Friday, Aug. 14, to be chosen for one of 125 permits for the 2020 Minnesota prairie chicken hunting season. The nine-day prairie chicken season begins Saturday, Sept. 26, and is open only to Minnesota residents.