Almost half of Minnesota hunting areas this year require hunters to enter a lottery to be eligible to shoot antlerless deer.
There are more lotteries this year because the state met deer population goals that were set in the mid-2000s, said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, He said only about a quarter of hunting areas in the state have required lotteries for deer hunting in recent years.
"Over the last five to seven years we've really been lowering deer densities across a lot of the state to achieve our population goals, now that we're at those goals, we're starting to get a little more conservative with our management policy," Cornicelli said. "There will be more areas where you have to put in for either sex permit if you want to take an antlerless deer."
The deadline for applying for the lottery is Sept. 6. Many areas with a lottery this year have not held lotteries in the past.
"You can buy a buck license any time and go buck hunting, but if you want the extra opportunity to take an antlerless deer, you're going to have to get in the lottery," Cornicelli said.
A DNR map shows the location of lottery areas.