Minnesota Metro Hunting Map

The Minnesota DNR website is a fantastic. It has more information available than you would usually need in order to plan an outing. The information is arranged in a very hierarchical and organized way, which usually lets you get to the information you want easily. Unfortunately if you want to look up more complex information that spans several of the categories, there’s not an easy way to do so.

Finding Public Land in the Twin Cities Area (MN Hunting Area 601)

One of the difficult things to figure out is where you can go hunting near the Twin Cities. This map shows the area boundaries, and it is easy to see that area 601 is the area which covers from Anoka to Hastings to Chaska. If you’re new to Minnesota, or are just getting into hunting or you just want to try somewhere new or close to home there’s no obvious good way to look up what huntable public land exists within the 601 hunting area boundaries.

The DNR does have a web page dedicated to publicly accessible hunting land in Minnesota. It is divided into types of land, and then by county. If you’re like me, you don’t care much if it’s a WMA, WPA or National Forest, you just want to see your options. Making it more difficult only Ramsey county is completely inside area 601. Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott ,Washington and Wright counties all straddle the border. When you use the county lookup tools to search for land, you need to search each of the counties and then check if each of the results is inside of 601 or not.

It’s Not Just Hunting

I have deer on the brain right now, but it’s not just about hunting. Many of the public land locations are prime bird and wildlife watching spots and are good places to take a hike, a picnic or even a family photo shoot.

What We Need Is a Map

I want to be able to easily see what land is available to plan trips with friends, and to also let my wife know where I’m going so she doesn’t worry. 10 years ago I would’ve had to sit down with some platt books, a paper map and a Sharpie; today Google Maps gives us tools that are good enough.

Presenting The Metro Hunting Map

It’s not much to look at yet, but it does have the area 601 borders and 4 pieces of public land listed, so maybe that’ll be helpful to someone. It is my intention to continue to add to this map and to continue exploring the public land that’s so close to home.

View Metro Hunting in a larger map

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11 Responses to Minnesota Metro Hunting Map

  1. Ron says:

    I have been search for hours for public hunting locations and there are none to be found unless you buy them from the dnr book store or other retail stores

    The dnr website is so messed up with touchy feely information its ridiculis
    the dnr is a money pit to this country, they do nothing to help out the habitat, I live in minnesota and I’m on the lakes or afield weekly and the only time you see a dnr person doing anything is either driving or stopping hunters in parking lots after they come out from the hunt

    we need to iliminate the dnr

    • stuporglue says:

      Well, I don’t think we need to eliminate the DNR, but their website could use a lot better navigation and set of maps.

      I’m getting excited for hunting season this year, so I’ll hopefully be adding some more locations to this map here in a few weeks.

      • Ace says:

        Any updates here?

      • stuporglue says:

        I’m afraid not.

        I’ve recently been looking into individual city ordinances for the north metro (where I live) and it’s a mishmash. Some require signed permission from all bordering land owners, some require police notification, some require that all hunting be done from a tree stand 6+ feet high, etc.

        My hope this year is the Walk-In Access (WIA) program: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/walkin/index.html

        It’s further than the metro area for sure, but I’m hoping it will be less crowded.

        I’ve started scoping out a spot on Google Maps, good luck!

  2. josh says:

    I’ve started asking permission in woodbury, washington county. so far i’m 0-3. I’m on the waiting list for a plat book.
    Like everyone else here i’m looking for spots close to home. i’m also asking churches in the area who are located on land with wooded areas etc… The city of woodbury has a map indicating where you can hunt on private land with signed permission you need to present to the police. i’m hoping i get permission from a couple of land owners.

  3. Thanks for posting on my blog. Nice initial work but you may be interested in checking out a map or area 601 that I made. You can view it here:
    MN Hunting Maps Deer Area 601

  4. Mark says:

    What are the rules for the rapids lake wildlife refuge?

  5. Paul says:

    There used to be a spot just a south of the river on 169. Is bow hunting not allowed there anymore?

  6. Samuel says:

    There is another area you can use shotgun and archery within the 601 area. But.. You need to dig deeper. Its a place that i like to hunt. I’m not willing to let the world know about it. Do some more research like i had to 😀 good luck.

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