Minnesota’s Agassiz Refuge To Open To Muzzleloader Hunting

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Minnesota's Agassiz Refuge To Open To Muzzleloader HuntingDue to recent revisions to federal and state rules, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will open Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) for the first time to muzzleloader deer hunting. The season opens Nov. 29 and closes Dec. 14.

According to Margaret Anderson, Agassiz NWR manager, this new hunting opportunity is a result of the 2005 Agassiz NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP). During the CCP process, the public had several opportunities to provide input on refuge management and public use activities. New hunting opportunities were strongly supported.

In addition to a muzzleloader deer season, archery deer, grouse (beginning with the deer firearms season), and youth deer and waterfowl hunts in designated areas were also approved.

Agassiz NWR, which is located 12 miles north of Thief River Falls and 11 miles east on County Road 7, is located within deer permit area 203 (PA203). In 2008, PA203 is an intensive deer management unit, meaning that up to five deer can be harvested, with no more than one deer being antlered.

All of the special regulations that apply to deer firearms hunting within the NWR also apply to muzzleloader hunting. Permanently constructed tree stands are not allowed, nor are screw-in tree steps. Portable stands may be used, but cannot be left overnight. No camping is permitted on the refuge, but adjacent state Wildlife Management Areas offer free primitive camping within designated camping areas.

Maps of designated hunting areas on Agassiz NWR are available online at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/agassiz/

Deer hunting brochures are also available at the refuge office and kiosks.

For more information on deer hunting, hunting regulations and permits, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html

View Refuge Deer Hunting Brochure (2MB pdf format)