The Ten Best Deer Hunting Permit Areas In Minnesota
There were just over 342,000 firearm deer hunting permits issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 2022, along with 90,589 archery permits and nearly 50,000 muzzleloader permits.
Combined, Minnesota deer hunters tagged 172, 265 deer during the respective seasons in 2022. In all, 29.7% of registered firearm hunters bagged a deer, while 20% of archery hunters and 20% of muzzleloaders were successful.
With that being said, let's take a look at which permit areas were most successful in 2022, based on deer harvested per square mile .
#10 SHERBURNE COUNTY (PERMIT AREA 223)
This area encompasses Sherburne County, with the exception of the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, which is its own permit area. In total, 2,389 deer (6.36/sq mi) were harvested in this area, which has a bag limit of three deer.
#9 HOUSTON COUNTY (PERMIT AREA 649)
Permit area 649 is located in the southeast corner of Minnesota near the Wisconsin and Iowa borders. 3,267 deer (6.64/ sq mi) were harvested in this area in 2022.
#8 MORRISON/BENTON COUNTIES (PERMIT AREA 221)
4,286 deer (6.68/sq mi) were harvested in permit area 221 in 2022. Permit area 221 is just east of the St. Cloud metro area and includes Pierz, Buckman, Royalton and Gilman.
#7 OTTERTAIL COUNTY (PERMIT AREA 240)
Permit Area 220 includes the cities of Henning, Deer Creek and Vining. It also stretches into a small part of Todd County. In total, 4,441 deer (6.96/sq mi) were harvested in this area in 2022.
#6 BECKER/WADENA/OTTER TAIL/HUBBARD COUNTIES (PERMIT AREA 241)
This part of the state seems to be a sweet spot for deer, as 6,974 deer (7.0/sq mi) were harvested in this permit area in 2022. This big area includes the cities of Park Rapids, Detroit Lakes, Perham, Staples and all points in between.
#5 MILLE LACS/CHISAGO/ISANTI/KANABEC/PINE COUNTIES (PERMIT AREA 225)
This permit area starts just east of Milaca and stretches all the way to the Wisconsin border near Taylor's Falls. In total, 4,396 deer (7.1/sq mi) were harvested in 2022 in this area.
#4 MORRISON/MILLE LACS/BENTON COUNTIES (PERMIT AREA 222)
This area includes the cities of Foley, Milaca and Onamia and produced 2,951 deer (7.14/sq mi) in 2022.
#3 TODD/MORRISON/WADENA COUNTIES (PERMIT AREA 214)
Permit area 214 lies between Highways 71 and 10 in the north-central part of the state. 4,113 deer (7.46/sq mi) were harvested in this area in 2022.
#2 SHERBURNE/ISANTI/ANOKA COUNTIES (PERMIT AREA 227)
Bordered by Highway 169 to the west, Highway 95 to the north and I-35 to the east, this area produced a harvest of 3,520 total deer (7.46/sq mi).
#1 WINONA/HOUSTON COUNTIES (PERMIT AREA 646)
We head back to southeast Minnesota for our top spot, as permit area 646 reported a harvest of 2,418 deer- or 7.58 deer per square mile.