Beginning Saturday, Sept. 1, hunters can access nearly 30,000 acres of private land across 47 counties in western and south-central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program.

Beginning Saturday, Sept. 1, hunters can access nearly 30,000 acres of private land across 47 counties in western and south-central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program.

“Finding land for hunting can be challenging at times,” said Scott Roemhildt, regional director for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “The Walk-In Access program allows hunters to access high-quality private land and makes it easier for landowners to allow that access.”

The Walk-In Access program pays landowners to allow hunter access. Hunters with a $3 Walk-In Access validation may hunt a half-hour before sunrise until a half-hour after sunset during open hunting seasons from Sept. 1 to May 31. No additional landowner contact is necessary. More than 250 sites are available through the program. Bright yellow-green signs have been placed on Walk-In Access boundaries.

Hunting seasons open Sept. 1 for mourning doves, crows, snipe, sora and Virginia rail. Hunting seasons open Saturday, Sept. 15, for several small game species including squirrels and rabbits. The Minnesota pheasant hunting season opens Saturday, Oct. 13.

Maps of all Walk-In Access sites are available electronically at mndnr.gov/walkin. Printed atlases can be found across the 47-county area at DNR license agents, DNR wildlife offices and county soil and water conservation district offices. Atlases are also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367.

“Walk-In Access works because hunters respect the land, and that respect encourages landowners to enroll their land,” Roemhildt said. “We have grown the program because of the respectful relationship our hunters and landowners have enjoyed.”  

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