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Minnesota celebrates Hunting and Fishing Day, National Public Lands Day, and Take a Kid Hunting Weekend

Sep 22, 2023 08:05AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Brady Rogers 

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - September 22, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz has proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 23 as Hunting and Fishing Day in Minnesota, coinciding with National Public Lands Day and Take a Kid Hunting Weekend. This trifecta highlights the state’s hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities, as well as the environmental and economic benefits of Minnesota’s public lands and waters. 

“Minnesota has a rich tradition of hunting and angling woven into the cultural fabric of the state, offering opportunities to connect with the outdoors and provide food security, self-sufficiency, and both mental and physical health benefits” reads the proclamation issued by Gov. Walz.

Last year, Minnesota’s nearly 2 million licensed hunters and anglers generated tens of millions of dollars to support the conservation efforts of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which manages the state’s 5.6 million acres of public land. 

“Hunters and anglers play an invaluable role in our economy and to ensuring the preservation of our public lands for future generations,” Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said. “I’m grateful for their strong and enduring commitment to the outdoors and glad there is a day set aside to celebrate hunters, anglers, and our natural heritage."

National Hunting and Fishing Day was established in 1972 by President Richard Nixon to promote outdoor sports and conservation. Take a Kid Hunting Weekend, established in 1990 by the Minnesota Legislature, encourages adults to share our hunting heritage with younger generations. National Public Lands Day, created in 1994, is the largest single-day volunteer effort to restore and enhance public lands. Together, these three special events highlight the connection between Minnesotans, the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities industry and the preservation of public lands.

Minnesota’s public lands not only offer excellent hunting and fishing opportunities but also provide clean water; carbon storage; habitat for wildlife; protection of rare plants, animals, cultural resources, and geological features; and affordable access to many forms of outdoor recreation. Moreover, these lands help fuel Minnesota’s $9.9 billion outdoor recreation economy, which comprises 2.4% of the state’s GDP and supports more than 91,000 jobs, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Those who want to spend Hunting and Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day on some of Minnesota’s public lands can choose from 75 state parks and recreation areas, 60 state forests, 1,500 wildlife management areas, and 700 aquatic management areas. 

During Take a Kid Hunting Weekend, Sept. 23-24, adult Minnesota residents accompanied by a youth younger than 16 can hunt small game without a license but must comply with open seasons, limits and other regulations found in the Minnesota hunting regulations ( This year, the Minnesota DNR encourages adults who participate in Take a Kid Hunting Weekend to take Pheasants Forever’s Hunter Mentor Pledge ( By taking the pledge and submitting a picture or short video of the hunting trip, individuals will be to be entered to win a guided bobwhite quail hunt for two, along with other prizes.

For more information about hunting in Minnesota, go to the Minnesota DNR’s hunting and trapping webpage ( For information about fishing, see the Minnesota DNR’s fishing webpage (, and for information about how the Minnesota DNR manages the state’s public lands, go to the Minnesota DNR’s state-managed public lands webpage ( 

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