Minnesota 2021 Season

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
What is the required circle and distance? I've never heard of this, and I'm curious.
5/5 in a 7” circle at 20 yards. It’s required paperwork for some special management hunts around the suburbs. Basically just to make sure you can actually shoot well with a little bit of pressure, which theoretically means you won’t be wounding deer near people’s back yards.

The proficiency shoot is a requirement of the Hunt management agency, not the dnr.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Got all my licenses purchased for the coming season today. It’s all over but the waiting now folks!

I can’t remember if I said it earlier, but my switch has officially flipped to hunting. I hit a property for a deer scout last week only to learn that what had once been a huge CRP type field had been prescribed burned at some point this year. My deer scouting trip quickly morphed into a dove scout, and it did not disappoint! Needless to say, I think I’ll be hitting the field on 9/1 to see if I can get on some doves.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Found out this weekend that I drew my first choice park hunt! The hunt was undersubscribed so it was really just a question of my hunter rank, which determines the order you choose your zone. I’ve hunted this park the last few years and have my eye on a different zone this year. Orientation is early September, and after that I can do a bit of scouting to narrow down possible stand locations.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
2/2 on drawings so far! Received an email today about drawing the LE WMA archery tag I put in for. This one allows 60 archers to hunt throughout the season, and I’m super stoked about drawing again! They don’t post application numbers, so it’s always kind of a crapshoot.

Ive got waypoints galore in this WMA and a few new ones yet to check out. That task just moved up close to the top of my list.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Got around to scouting the WMA I drew this weekend. Everything that was planted corn last year is beans this year. I have a waypoint that was a stellar evening spot last year and I expect the same this year.

I checked out another pinch point that is veeeery similar in setup. Wasn’t much fresh sign in there, but a trail and an old scrape were present. This spot will hunt well with a west wind, and I’m thinking it’ll be another evening option.

Next I checked out a spot that is at the very corner of the property. It’s a mile walk from the parking area, but a person could cut that down if they got dropped off. It didn’t look like much on the map, but ended up being a thick spot that covered a literal asterisk of trails coming out of a wash. I’ll need a north or east wind to hunt it. And I think it could be a decent morning or evening, as it’s in between beans and thick cover. Getting close now!
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
September 1 found me in the dove field when the sun came up. I was surprised to see that the parking lot was nearly full, especially with it being a weekday! There were plenty of doves flying, but I was not on the spot. No shots fired, but man did it feel good to be out in the field again.

I hit the same field on Saturday. I was the only car in the lot, and sat for an hour without seeing a single dove flying anywhere around. I pulled stakes and moved to another, perhaps less pressured piece nearby. That move proved to be an armed hike more than anything, but I did kick up a few woodies in a very out of the way slough. Took a waypoint for that, and also marked a decent ground hunting setup covering a creek crossing. So while no doves were flying, the morning was not a total waste!
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Orientation for MBRB hunt was last night. I was the #16 ranked hunter, and had my sights set on a new zone this year. I scouted a bit and marked a handful of great looking spots.

Once we started picking zones, the one I was gunning for filled up before it got to me. I ended up picking zone 1, where I’ve hunted for the last few years. I’ve always seen deer in that zone, so hopefully this’ll be the year I can put one down!

The zone is outlined roughly in red below. I’ve got a ton of waypoints saved from previous years and already have a decent idea of where I want to set up. We do have the option to scout for another week before deciding. Hunt dates for this one are Sept 24-26 and Oct 22-24. As always, it’ll be a good time!

Zone1.JPG
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
The final 3D shoot of the year was this weekend and I just barely beat the rain this morning. I planned to shoot both bows, but barely snuck through with my recurve. There were 38 targets, and I scored 334. For an average of 8.78, one of my best of the season.

I’m definitely feeling dialed at this point, and can’t wait for the opener next weekend. They are currently forecasting a south wind, so I’ll be paying attention to that throughout the week before deciding where to hunt Saturday morning. The WMA I drew is mostly planted with beans this year, so I’ll likely save that for afternoon sits at least initially.

Just 6 days left until it’s go time!
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Archery opened yesterday and my alarm was set for 4am. I planned to be settled in my tree at 5:45, and missed by mark by 2 minutes. Not bad! In the morning I sat on a trail intersection in a white oak stand. The morning was pretty quiet, and at 8:30 a doe snuck in on me. She came in from the intended direction, but was obscured by a line of trees. I didn’t see her until she was right on top of me. She ended up passing underneath my stand at maybe 5 yards, which wasn’t a shot I was interested in. I climbed down at 9 without seeing another deer.
1702CFE7-0B30-485C-A7BF-A0DD6C3AA5B9.jpeg
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Saturday evening I headed for a spot on the draw WMA. I would be sitting a pinch point between bean fields, a very productive spot from last year.

I was in the tree at 4 and ready for a warm evening sit. Nothing was moving until 7:20, when I had tow does cross the trail onto my side. I grabbed my bow, and drew as the lead doe was obscured by brush. She stepped clear, and I stopped her broadside. Everything lined up, and I shot. She kicked and bolted away. The other doe with her hung around a bit, then wandered off. She was standing towards the right in the photo

F928B9C1-2E5F-429B-9C33-E23DEF8BBA30.jpeg

I climbed down after 20 minutes, and having another doe pass through 10 minutes after the shot. I went over to the shot sight and found my arrow. It had blood and lots of fat on it. However, there was no blood or hair at the shot sight. I walked in her direction of travel for 20 yards without finding anything, then backed out to return in the morning.

I got back to the shot sight after sunup this morning. While researching the shot location I noticed two small saplings that were surely in my arrow path. I hadn’t noticed them last night when I shot.

I thought she ran nearly due south away from me last night. I started searching in that direction, which took me down a super thick little ditch. 250 yards down and nothing. I doubled back on the ridge west of me, still nothing. Back to the shot site I went. I am 100% positive I marked her heading away on the deer trail after I shot. The trail split 3 ways, and I’d already searched in 2 directions. The third direction looped back around in front of me, through heavy brush.

I started along that path and came to a downed log. I noticed a freshly broken branch and then found blood. Not much, but more than a pin prick. Marked that, and crossed the log. About 10 yards further I found two more drips, one the diameter of a pencil eraser, and the other a pin head. And that was it. I searched on hands and knees from there in all directions and couldn’t turn up anything else.

Thinking back, that other doe that came through after I shot came from the direction that the one I hit apparently ended up going. About the same body size and maturity. I didn’t see anything more than that. Now looking at the path, it could have been the same deer. Maybe.

$hit way to start the season. I think I may have deflected off one of those saplings and had a poor hit. I dont know for sure, but based on the evidence, I don’t think it was fatal. I definitely made a good call to back out last night. There was no way I would have found that blood in the dark.

Gonna try to put that one behind me and think positively. It was opening day, so plenty of season left. But damn it sucks drawing blood and not finding the deer.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Period 1 of the MBRB hunt was this past weekend. I had my stand set up at noon on Thursday and was excited to see what the morning would bring.

My alarm rang at 4am on Friday, and I was out the door by 4:40. My favorite part of this hunt is not setting up in the dark. There is definitely something to be said about walking in and climbing straight away! I was set and ready well before first light.

E92FC12A-A1CC-4958-ABBB-3FC202F34CD5.jpeg

The morning started pretty slow, and at 7:45 I caught movement on the trail in front, and left of my stand. Moments later a small buck, I think it was a spike, popped out from behind a tree. It looked like he would head down the trail, offering me a super close broadside shot, albeit on my weak side. I stood to shift myself into shooting position, and in the process made a small noise. He immediately picked his head up, and although he did not spook, he turned and ducked into the cattail marsh and skirted around me.

The rest of day 1 was quiet. No deer seen after him in the morning, or in the afternoon.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Day 2 was the coldest of the bunch. It was 39 when I got out of my car at the hunt area on Saturday morning. Like the day before, I was in my stand and ready well before first light.

Again, the morning was slow, but at 8:40 a pair of does came in from my 4 o’clock. I clipped my release onto the string, and waited patiently as they did deer stuff in the brush below me. They eventually worked into a clearing, but only offered quartering to shots. After milling around a bit more, one of them turned quartering away. I got about 3 inches into my draw when she continued turning straight away. They eventually exited stage right, back the way they came.

The evening hunt on Saturday was much more eventful than the day before. I was on stand at 3:30, and shortly after 6 I had a pair of does approach from the east, behind me, but follow the cattails well out of range. An hour later, 2 does came in from the northwest. The pair milled around a bit, and ultimately offered no shot as they turned back west.

I am pretty sure these 6 deer I saw were the same 2 does multiple times.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
The 4am alarm on Sunday was pretty rough. I slammed some coffee, dressed, and was in my stand again well before first light. I could only hunt the morning this day, so this would be my last chance for the first hunt period.

About an hour into the hunt a lone deer ran across my face at 50 or so yards. I couldn’t identify sex, but it was headed toward a peninsula and would be essentially cut off. Taking note of this, I kept my attention in that direction. Sure enough, 15 minutes later a lone doe walked along the cattails well out of view, exiting behind me.

Another hour later, and another lone doe came walking briskly through, passing literally right under my stand. Her path of travel provided nothing more than a frontal, straight down, or Texas heart shot, all of which I passed. The rest of the morning passed without incident.

I have a hunch that all these does were not in fact unique deer. I’m pretty sure the 6 on Saturday were the same 2 on repeat. Just by proximity, I think the couple I saw on Sunday were the same deer, and also suspect it was the same deer as the day before. Where the other one went, I do not know.

All in all, the first period was a success. I saw 9 deer total, and seemed to be in a good spot for activity. I did take a look at another tree that is closer to the cattails, thinking that might be a good spot for period 2. Either way, I’m looking forward to late October when we can get into the park again!
 

MNElkNut

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,232
Location
Minnesota
I think you need to travel further from the metro area. 9 deer for the weekend is woefully little. You should be seeing 5+ deer per sit even on public land in western MN.

My brother bow hunted this past weekend. 2 evening sits. Saw about 20-30 each night and passed on a bunch of bucks including a 130" 5X4. Shot a doe on the second sit. This is private land, but public is good too.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
I think you need to travel further from the metro area. 9 deer for the weekend is woefully little. You should be seeing 5+ deer per sit even on public land in western MN.

My brother bow hunted this past weekend. 2 evening sits. Saw about 20-30 each night and passed on a bunch of bucks including a 130" 5X4. Shot a doe on the second sit. This is private land, but public is good too.
Yep, for sure. I’ve been expanding farther south and east these last few seasons. Definitely correct that the metro zone is not crawling with deer!

I haven’t made it north or west much. Mostly due to drive distance. But definitely something I want to explore.
 

hearteater

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2014
Messages
240
I think you need to travel further from the metro area. 9 deer for the weekend is woefully little. You should be seeing 5+ deer per sit even on public land in western MN.

My brother bow hunted this past weekend. 2 evening sits. Saw about 20-30 each night and passed on a bunch of bucks including a 130" 5X4. Shot a doe on the second sit. This is private land, but public is good too.
I have hunted a ton around MN and comparing a private land spot to public is not relevant at all. 5 plus deer/sit as the standard on pressured public is ridiculous. 9 deer is not woefully low by any means it’s actually pretty good especially for September.
 

MNElkNut

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,232
Location
Minnesota
I didn't compare public to private, I just used it as an example. I even said, this is private, but public is good too. I know public land bowhunters in western MN that routinely see 5+ deer per sit. That is not uncommon at all. I totally agree in eastern MN though with all the pressure. It was just a suggestion, sorry to ruffle your feathers.
 
Yeti

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
100,336
Messages
1,584,770
Members
31,492
Latest member
dustin.906
Top