New Off-highway Vehicle Riding Restrictions During 2008 Deer Hunting Season

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New Off-highway Vehicle Riding Restrictions During 2008 Deer Hunting SeasonMinnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Mark Holsten announced new restrictions for off-highway vehicles (OHV) to be in effect during part of the 2008 deer hunting season.

The Commissioner’s Order effects recreational riding on DNR forest trails but does not impact OHV use for big game hunting. Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all terrain vehicles, off road motorcycles, and off road vehicles such as jeeps and four-wheel-drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.

The purpose of the restriction is to protect recreational OHV riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and, to minimize conflicts between deer hunters seeking a quiet deer hunting experience and recreational riders who may inadvertently interrupt the hunt.

In the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season, the recreational riding restriction will be in effect Nov. 8 through Nov. 23. In the Minnesota 200 Series deer season, the recreational riding restriction will be in effect Nov. 8 through Nov. 16. See the 2008 deer season map at www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/index.html

There are no recreational OHV trails in southeastern Minnesota that remain open during the deer season so no additional restrictions are necessary in the southern part of the state.

This new restriction is in addition to the restricted hours of use that have been in effect in previous years. Deer hunters possessing a valid deer hunting license can operate an OHV 1) before legal shooting time (one-half hour before sunrise), 2) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 3) after legal shooting hours (one-half hour after sunset).

While many recreational OHV riders have voluntarily opted not to ride forest trails during deer hunting and small game seasons, OHV riding has become a year-around sport for many. That’s why Commissioner Holsten, reminds everyone who visits state forests in the fall to always consider safety first.