Dakota County has managed deer populations in its parks by using controlled hunts. Controlling deer populations contributes to natural reforestation and reduces damage to agricultural crops and landscaping.
Reducing deer populations also improves the parks’ habitat for other wildlife that benefit from diverse ground and shrub layer plants.
Deer Hunt Locations
Changes to 2014 deer hunt
In 2014, Dakota County will be implementing changes to the deer hunt and its registration process. These changes will not only improve the process for the hunters and Dakota County, but will also account for current County development plans. Dakota County is implementing the following changes:
- Registrants will reserve a spot online on a first-come, first-serve basis. Payment due at time of registration.
- Hunters will not be allowed to register as a group.
- Because of technical difficulties, registration will open at 12:10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15 and will close at 12:10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 15 or until the permits are filled.
- There will not be a hunt at Spring Lake Park Reserve this year due to trail construction.
In the past, Dakota County has chosen individuals and groups for the hunts through a lottery system. In order to promote efficiency and fairness, hunters will reserve a spot on a first-come, first-serve basis through an online application process. Applicants can expect the online registration process to take about 30 minutes.
Hunters will no longer be able to register as groups. Instead, an individual will only be able to register him or herself and any child who will be hunting with him or her. Guardians must be registered before the minor is allowed to register. Registrants will still be able to hunt in groups of up to six people if they have each reserved a spot for the same hunt.
The 2014 deer hunts will only take place at Lebanon Hills Regional Park and Miesville Ravine Park Reserve. There will be no hunting at Spring Lake Park Reserve in 2014 due to the construction of the Mississippi River Regional Trail, but hunts will most likely resume in future years. Additionally, there will be no hunting at Whitetail Woods Regional Park in 2014 due to development of the park. Whitetail Woods will be considered as a hunt location in future years.
Park closure dates
Dakota County Parks will be closed for controlled deer hunts at the following dates and times:
Lebanon Hills Regional Park: Nov. 3-5, 10-12, 17-19
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve: Nov. 22-30
To be eligible for hunting, you must complete an online application.
Both locations are now full. Dakota County will not accept any more application.