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Posted on: November 14, 2023

Special deer bow hunt scheduled in Cannon River Wilderness Area

Deer in a park

The Cannon River Wilderness Area will be open for a special late-season chronic wasting disease (CWD) hunt Friday, Dec. 15 until Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. The hunt will be archery only and is limited to 50 hunters.

Permits for this hunt, special public land access area #809, will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis from license vendors beginning Dec. 1. The application period will be open until Dec. 12 or until all permits are distributed, whichever comes first.

Experience suggests the permits go quickly and are generally all spoken for within a few days.  You will need the permit in addition to a valid deer license to participate.  The information on the late hunt and application period is found on the Department of Natural Resources website Late CWD hunts | Minnesota DNR ( or page 91 of the Department of Natural Resources 2023 Hunting Regulations Handbook.

This hunt is conducted to help detect and manage chronic wasting disease in deer. Hunters having obtained a valid permit for the hunt will be guests in an area normally closed to hunting and other use rules and restrictions remain in effect. Other visitors may be present in the park during this hunt.

Additional guidelines and requirements for hunting in the Cannon River Wilderness Area.   
•  The hunt is archery only.  
• Hunters must possess a valid permit for hunt # 809 issued through Minnesota’s Electronic Licensing System (
• An unfilled 2023 deer archery license, disease management permits or bonus permits may be used to tag deer taken in this hunt.  
• All hunters in the park during the special season must display blaze orange on the visible portion of the person’s outer clothing above the waist, excluding sleeves and gloves.
• It is the hunter’s responsibility to avoid trespass.
• Portable stands are allowed but must not damage trees or other vegetation.   Screw in steps are not allowed. Only one stand per hunter is permitted and the stand must be labeled with hunter contact information.
• Stands may be placed up to 48 hours prior to the hunt and removed no later than 24 hours.
• No hunting or stands are allowed within 300 feet of day use areas and 100 feet of hiking trails.  
• Hunters must submit harvested deer for CWD sampling. 

Self-service sampling stations and quartering/disposal stations will be available at the Rice County Fairgrounds, Lonsdale and Vermillion Wildlife Management Headquarters east of Rosemont. 

Questions about the special CWD hunt should be directed to the Owatonna Area Wildlife Office. Email it at [email protected].us or call 507-414-6200.

Hunt is archery only and limited to 50 hunters.
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