Temporary off-highway vehicle trail closures begin in November

Courtesy of the Minnesota DNR


As a safety precaution, recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) will be restricted in some areas during the upcoming firearms deer hunting season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and registered off-road vehicles such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.

The restrictions, which apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads, aim to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and to minimize conflicts between deer hunters and  recreational riders who may inadvertently disturb them.

Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity before legal shooting time, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and after legal shooting hours.

Effective dates of the recreational riding restrictions will be Nov. 3-18 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season and Nov. 3-11 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer season.

Because recreational OHV trails located in southeastern Minnesota close Nov. 1 each year, no additional OHV riding restrictions are necessary in that part of the state.

While many recreational OHV riders have voluntarily opted not to ride forest trails during deer hunting and small game seasons, recreational OHV riding has become a year-round sport for many. DNR officials remind everyone who visits Minnesota’s state forests this fall to put safety first.

For more information, see the 2012 deer season map online at www.mndnr.gov or call the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 1 (888) 646-6367 between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.