Dakota County manages 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.
2023 deer hunting options
No other deer hunting is allowed in Dakota County Parks.
Parks closed during controlled deer hunts
Lebanon Hills Regional Park and Miesville Ravine Park Reserve will be closed to the public during controlled deer hunting dates.
Important information and changes for 2023
- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be processing registrations for the Miesville Ravine deer hunts.
Find out more about the Miesville hunt.
- The Lebanon Hills archery hunt will continue to be processed by Dakota County Parks.
Find out more about the Lebanon Hills hunt.
- There will not be a hunt at Spring Lake Park Reserve in 2023.
Find out more about the canceled hunt.
- The Miesville shotgun and muzzleloader hunts will not be earn-a-buck hunts in 2023. You will be able to harvest an antlered or antlerless deer.
- The Miesville hunts will be nontoxic ammunition only hunts. No lead ammunition is allowed.
Deer hunt maps
Lebanon Hills Regional Park (Lebanon deer hunt map)
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve (Miesville deer hunt map)
To be eligible for hunting, you must complete an online application, and you must obtain a valid hunting license from the Minnesota DNR prior to the hunt.
Chronic Wasting Disease in Dakota County
In spring 2020, a deer infected with
Chronic Wasting Disease was found in Dakota County which has created regulation changes. The DNR has created Area 605 which encompasses all of what used to be Area 339 and parts of 701 and other areas in Scott County. Lebanon Hills Regional Park and Miesville Ravine Park Reserve are both inside of the new South Metro CWD Management Zone.
CWD testing in these management zones is mandatory. In areas where CWD has been detected, which includes Lebanon Hills and Miesville Ravine, regulations require whole carcasses of deer, including fawns, to stay within specified zones until a “not detected" CWD test result is received.
To help hunters comply with these legal carcass movement restrictions, the DNR will provide dumpsters to allow hunters to dispose of carcasses (head and spinal column) after quartering or butchering, so they can leave the CWD areas immediately. A list of taxidermists in the area also will be provided. Additional information will be posted by the DNR closer to hunting season.