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
Deer hunt lottery registration for 2016 is now closed.
Changes to 2016 deer hunting
In 2016, Dakota County will be implementing changes to the deer hunt and its registration process. These changes will not only improve the process and experience for hunters, but will also account for current County development plans. Dakota County is implementing the following changes:
- An application fee of $5 will be charged for each hunt applied for.
- A preference point system will be in effect, using information from last year’s registration information. Hunters who applied to any of the hunts last year, but were not selected in the lottery, will have a point added for that hunt.
- Mondays of the Lebanon Hills Regional Park hunt will be full days. Tuesdays and Wednesdays will still be half day hunts.
- The Spring Lake Regional Park hunt will be resuming in 2016 for six full days.
- A nine-day muzzleloader hunt has been added at Miesville Ravine Park Reserve in early December.
Lottery applications open: July 28, 10 a.m.
Lottery applications close: Aug. 31, midnight
Notifications to lottery applicants sent out: By Sept. 15
Payments due: By Sept. 29
Park closure dates
Dakota County Parks will be closed for controlled deer hunts at the following dates and times:
Lebanon Hills Regional Park (Deer hunt map): Nov. 7–9, Nov. 14–16, Nov. 21–23; Monday, all day; Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 a.m.–noon
Lower Spring Lake Park Reserve (Deer hunt map): Nov. 11–13, Nov. 18–20; all day (Schaar’s Bluff area will remain open)
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve (Deer hunt map): Nov. 21–29, all day for shotgun hunt; Dec. 3–11, all day for muzzleloader hunt
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. A link to the registration site will be provided prior to the application open date.