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Temporary off-highway vehicle restrictions begin with firearms deer opener


Off-highway vehicles for recreational use will be restricted in some areas during the Minnesota firearms deer hunting season.

The restrictions, which apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads, aim to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and to minimize conflicts between deer hunters and recreational riders who may inadvertently disturb them.

“The 2020 riding season has seen many new OHV enthusiasts hitting the trails for the first time, and many of them may not be familiar with these longstanding temporary closures,” said Bruce Lawrence, recreational vehicle coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division. “If you know someone who’s new to riding this year, we encourage you to share this information with them.”

Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and registered off-road vehicles such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.

Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity:

  • Before legal shooting time.
  • From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • After legal shooting hours.

Effective dates of the recreational riding restrictions are:

  • 7-22 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season.
  • 7-15 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer season.

Because recreational OHV trails located in southeastern Minnesota close by Nov. 1 each year, no additional OHV riding restrictions are necessary in that part of the state.

While many recreational OHV riders have voluntarily opted not to ride forest trails during deer hunting and small-game seasons, recreational OHV riding has become a year-round sport for many. DNR officials remind everyone who visits Minnesota’s state forests this fall to put safety first.

For more information, visit the OHV closures page for specific trail closure information; the 2020 deer season map online; or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or call 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Last modified: 11/06/2020

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