WIA aims to provide chance to hunt on private lands

Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources


The Walk-In Access (WIA) program is relatively new to Minnesota and aims to provide hunting opportunities on private lands that are already enrolled in a conservation program, or contain high quality wildlife cover.

Landowners voluntarily enroll their property for one to three years, but can opt out of the program if they choose to.

The program currently covers 21 counties in southwestern Minnesota.

For the 2012 hunting season, there are approximately 140 WIA sites, totaling 15,000 acres, enrolled in the program. These sites are open for hunting from Sept. 1 to May 31, 2013. No motorized vehicles are allowed on WIAs.

Various navigation tools to these sites are available at www.mndnr.gov/walkin, including detailed maps of each field and a downloadable hunting atlas of all of the enrolled sites.

A printed version of the hunting atlas is available at DNR area wildlife offices or available from the DNR Information Center.

The program has been funded by a federal grant, and some state funding sources have been secured.

A permanent funding source is needed to keep the program going after 2015.