Deer Hunts

Three Rivers Park District actively works to keep white-tailed deer herds in balance with the available habitat. As part of its deer management plan, scheduled archery and shotgun hunts are offered at several parks. Upcoming hunt information is listed below when available.

Sharpshooting with trained staff is also used to remove deer from areas not suitable for hunting. Each year, aerial deer surveys are conducted in January or February to help determine where deer hunts should take place.

Deer in wooded area

Hunt Safety

Three Rivers takes several precautions to ensure the safety of hunters, park guests and nearby residents.

All hunters are required to attend a pre-hunt orientation and select their stand sites before the hunt. Because of these safety precautions, parks remain open to the public during archery hunts, including the following areas:

  • Paved and turf trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding
  • Dog off-leash areas
  • Picnic areas
  • Golf courses
  • Visitor centers

Only the following areas are closed during hunts:

  • Group campsites
  • Cleary Lake Campground

Park users and nearby residents are informed of hunts through posted signage at park and trail entrances, and notices on the website, social media and in local newspapers.

During shotgun hunts, parks are closed completely, including all trails and facilities. During archery hunts, parks will remain open with access to paved and turf trails, dog off-leash areas, horse trails, golf courses and picnic areas.

Shotgun Hunts

The 2023 shotgun hunt will be held at Carver Park Reserve the second weekend of the gun hunting season. Hunters are selected through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Special hunt lottery. 

This hunt is in zone 701, so hunters can harvest up to five deer. These hunts require the use of non-lead ammunition. Hunters are restricted to shotguns and muzzleloaders. Pistols are not permitted.

2023 Shotgun Hunt Schedule

Park Hunt Days Hunt Period
Carver Park Reserve Sat.–Sun. Nov. 11–12

Applying for Shotgun Hunts

Hunters interested in participating can apply online or at a licensing station when purchasing a hunt license. Applications are due Thursday, September 7. Selected hunters are required to attend an orientation meeting prior to the hunt.

Archery Hunts

Three Rivers Park District conducts special permit archery hunts in a number of its parks. Hunts currently take place in Baker, Crow-Hassan, Lake Rebecca and Murphy-Hanrehan park reserves and Cleary Lake, Eagle Lake, Fish Lake and Spring Lake regional parks, and also at Gale Woods Farm. The hunts are two three-day hunts. One hunt period is early in the season and one is later. The hunts run Monday to Wednesday or Friday to Sunday, depending on the park. Applicants are expected to hunt both hunt periods and are required to attend the corresponding orientation.

2023 Archery Hunts and Orientations Schedule

Park Hunt Days First Hunt Period Second Hunt Period
Baker Park Reserve Fri.–Sun. Oct. 13–15 Nov. 10–12
Cleary Lake Regional Park Fri.–Sun. Sept. 29–Oct. 1 Oct. 27–29
Crow-Hassan Park Reserve Fri.–Sun. Oct. 13–15 Nov. 10–12
Eagle Lake Regional Park Mon.-Wed. Oct. 9–11 Nov. 6–8
Elm Creek Park Reserve Fri.–Sun. Oct. 6–8 Oct. 27–29
French Regional Park Mon.-Wed. Oct. 2–4 Oct. 30–Nov. 1
Gale Woods Farm Mon.-Wed. Sept. 25–27 Oct. 30–Nov. 1
Lake Rebecca Park Reserve Fri.–Sun. Sept. 29–Oct. 1 Oct. 27–29
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve Fri.–Sun. Oct. 13–15 Nov. 10–12
Spring Lake Regional Park Mon.–Wed. Oct. 2–4 Oct. 30–Nov. 1

Applying for Archery Hunts

Three Rivers selects archery hunters through a preference lottery through the Metro Bowhunters Resource Base (MBRB). Refer to the MBRB website for additional information.

Contact Us

For questions, please contact the Three Rivers Park District Wildlife section at 763-694-7840 or