Lisa Brainard: Orange not just for pumpkins this fall; deer hunts set in state parks

LISA BRAINARD/BLUFF COUNTRY READER I managed to find this photo of backpackers as we posed along the Mississippi in the fall of 2004. The man at left has the ideal blaze orange vest, which is the most visible. The rest of us have varying degrees of bright and/or orange colors on. Yours truly is at right.
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Lisa Brainard
Journey vs Destination

It’s November – and that means it’s time for a clothing style change.

Yes, put away those sandals. Or be a nerd like me and push the season a little further by adding socks to your sandal attire (hey, mine are actually water/all-terrain shoes, OK?!) But, there’s another vitally more significant clothing style change.

Hunting seasons of various types are now open in the Midwest. Grab the appropriate styles and colors for your needs. If you’re going to be outdoors, you best have some blaze orange-colored gear on.

If you think my summery shoes with all kinds of mesh and openings look dorky with socks, well, wait till you see me add bright orange cap and vest to the ensemble. I am stylin’ in the late fall, ha! (More like ha-ha.)

But most of all, I’m making sure I’m visible to hunters. You’ll want to do that, too, if out and about in the woods. Or, plan to stay inside during the hunting seasons. But, hey, isn’t there enough of that all winter? My idea is to get outside if you can. Let’s be clear – my optimistic side is still hoping for a late Indian summer… hope… hope… hope!

Keep your orange duds handy.

State park hunts

Remember that quite a few Minnesota state parks have special late fall deer hunts. The following information from the Minnesota DNR has more details:

“Numerous hunts are scheduled to take place at Minnesota state parks this fall, as a way to help control the deer population in the parks. Our goal is to ensure healthy natural communities. If too many deer are in one area, the native plants and animals are negatively affected.

“Access to the parks varies around the state during these hunts. Some state parks remain open to all visitors, some have limited public access, and some are open only to hunters with special permits.

“This site provides information to non-hunters during the hunt season, If you are a hunter, you'll find more information here,”

The DNR reiterates my above clothing suggestions, while adding more info:

“Stay safe during hunting season! If you will be visiting a state park during hunting season:

“Wear blaze orange or other brightly colored clothing, even if you will not be hunting.

“Check with the park office when you arrive, to see if there is any additional hunt-related information.

“Watch carefully for any hunt-related signage in the park, and follow it!

“For additional information, please call the facility before you head out.”


Here are designations for state park hunts and what they mean:

CLOSED – “The park is closed to the public and open only to hunters with a valid permit during a particular hunt.”

LIMITED – “The park is open both to visitors and to hunters, OR a portion of the park is open to the public and closed to hunting while another part is open to hunters only.”

Information for state parks in our area follows and is shown in this order for each: state park; access; type of hunt; dates; and class.

Beaver Creek Valley; closed; special permit; Nov. 9 to 10; firearms.

Forestville / Mystery Cave; limited; special permit; Nov. 9 to 10; firearms.

Great River Bluffs; closed; special permit; Nov. 23 to 24; firearms.

Lake Louise; limited; special permit; Nov. 16 to 17; firearms.

Whitewater; closed; special permit; Nov. 23 to 24; firearms.

To see all state parks with hunts as well as maps, again go to Hunting in Minnesota State Parks at the Minnesota DNR website,