Archery Deer Hunt

2013 Final Report - January 20, 2014

Welcome to Saint John's for the 12th controlled deer hunt since 1933.

Saint John's Abbey's intent is to reduce the deer population to a level that allows natural regeneration of the forest ecosystem that is essential to the long-term habitat of deer and other components of the ecosystem.

Harvesting primarily antlerless deer is the best method for controlling the deer population. 
2013 Stats
  • Archery hunting was allowed from Saturday, October 26 through December 31, 2013.
  • 563 applicants applied by the August 4, 2013 deadline.
  • 108 hunters were selected to hunt. About 100 of those hunters went afield at least once.
  • 51 deer were harvested including: 37 adult does, 1 adult buck, 8 fawn/yearling does, and 5 fawn/yearling bucks.
  • 19 hunters were successful in getting one deer. 16 other hunters took 2 deer each, includingn the woman who took the only adult buck.
  • Several parties achieved the goal of harvesting 3 antlerless deer.
  • Saint John's Abbey made 1,748 acres of land available for hunting this year. The harvest averaged 1 deer per 34 acres.
A 2014 Hunt

We are currently planning to host an archery hunt again in 2014. Naturally the MN DNR regulations will have an effect. We are also completing a population survey later this winter which we will use to plan the hunt.

We are still working on the details for the priority system, but it will likely be similar to this year. In addition to the point earned for completing the MN DNR Bow Hunter Education course, priority points will likely be awarded for:

  • Applications received in 2013 who were NOT SELECTED to hunt.
  • Hunters who successfully harvested a deer at Saint John's In 2013 (by persistence, skill, or good luck).

As of late 2013 the Bow Hunter Education course is now entirely available online. Details provided by the DNR are below.

  • Youth ages 12 and older are eligible for bow hunter education certification.
  • Youth ages 12-15 must first compelte and pass a Firearm Safety Training Class before they can take the bow hunter education course.

There are two options to earn a MN DNR bow hunter education certificate of completion:

  1. Individuals can complete the 10-hour in-classroom MN DNR bow hunter education course and pass the final exam. A $5 to $10 fee is collected by the instructor. Check for upcoming class listings.
  2. Individuals can complete the online course. Participants pay a $30 course fee when they pass the online exam with an unlimited number of tries to pass. Once completed, they print out their certificate of completion. As of Nov 2014, those who have completed the online course are then eligible to attend an optional 4-hour Bow Hunter Education Field Day (an additional $5-$10 fee). Check for upcoming class listings.

We thank hunters for your cooperation and interest in conservation to help us assure a healthy, balanced ecosystem. We heard many positive comments about the hunt and the land. We also want to thank those of you who have become members of Saint John's Outdoor University, which provides environmental education and works with the Abbey to keep the Abbey Arboretum in good condition. All donations are tax-deductible.

Member or not, outdoor enthusiasts should check out our Living in the Avon Hills conference on Saturday, Feb 1. More than 40 different speakers and topics to choose from, and sessions just for kids makes this an event you will certainly enjoy. Register online now.

If we have a hunt in 2014, we will publicly advertise and send an email to those on our mailing list. To get on the list, email

Type of Hunt

Archery hunting will be the only option in 2013. Archery hunting allows Saint John's to extend the season, avoid conflicts with other campus events (hikers, football games, etc.), allows more hunters to participate, allows hunting closer to campus, and reduces the need for security personnel.

This is not a MN DNR special hunt; hunters must bring and use their own MN DNR archery license. All hunters must follow the Minnesota State Big Game Laws.

The Abbey Arboretum is within the boundaries of the Collegeville State Game Refuge (established in 1933) and special hunting rules can apply to hunting on the refuge. Due to refuge status, all wildlife species other than deer (including coyote) are protected and may not be taken.

As we are a college campus, hunters must be flexible in respecting campus events during the hunt. Any non-hunters who intentionally or otherwise needlessly disrupt hunting as determined by Saint John's will be asked to leave. The same is true for any hunters who disrupt campus events.


All hunters must have a valid MN DNR archery license and must be able to take an antlerless deer in a zone covering Saint John's (218 south of I-94, 215 north of I-94).

  • Approx. 100 hunters will be allowed to hunt. A lottery will be used to select hunters who apply before Aug 5.

  • Only hunters with valid Saint John's Abbey hunting permits are allowed to hunt in the Abbey Arboretum. Permits are non-transferable.

  • Party hunting is allowed within the rules set by MN DNR for party hunting. Parties may consist of 2-4 people. Each party has only one chance of being drawn, regardless of how many archers there are in a party. All group members will be selected to hunt if the group is chosen and given consecutive lottery numbers.

  • Hunters who have completed the MN  Bow Hunter Education course (and hunting parties in which every member has completed the course) will be given priority in the lottery.

  • Youth less than 18 year old may hunt if they have both a valid DNR license and a qualified adult supervisor. The adult supervisor must also possess a valid license or have completed a MN DNR education/safety course, but is not required to hunt, and must remain in very close proximity (<50 feet) of the youth at all times. Both the youth and the adult supervisor must complete a group application. There must be one adult supervisor over 21 assigned to each youth under 18.

  • Bring only legal archery equipment. Crossbows are allowed with a valid MN DNR permit.

Application & Fees
  • Application fee: $5 per person | Due Aug 5, 2013 by 4 p.m.
  • Hunting selection notification | by Aug 23, 2013
  • Hunting fee: $20 per person | Due Sept 9, 2013

Hunting Schedule
  • Mandatory meeting: Oct 4, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
    (includes orientation, safety, and supper)
  • Hunting allowed: Oct 26 - Dec 31, 2013
  • Hunting times follow DNR regulations: 1/2-hr before sunrise and 1/2-hr after sunset.
  • Installation of portable stands/ground blinds (up to 2 per hunter) beginning Oct 4, 2013

Choosing A Hunting District

Each hunter will choose a single hunting district (hunters may have up to 2 stands in a district). Review the Deer Hunt Map to see districts and number of hunters per district.

  • A limited number of hunters will be assigned to each district to avoid too many hunters in a district.
  • When party hunting, each member of the party will choose their own hunting district which may or may not be the same as others in the party.
  • Hunters may change districts during the season to any district that is not currently full.
  • Hunters will select their top three choices for districts on the initial Hunting Application (see sidebar).


Individual hunters may earn the right to take a buck in future years after they harvest 3 antlerless deer. Parties who successfully take 3 antlerless deer from Saint John's will earn the opportunity to take a buck in the current or future hunts. Saint John's will keep a record and the opportunity rolls forward. Review the 2013 Abbey Arboretum Hunting Rules for more details.



Applications were due
Aug. 5
by 4 p.m. ($5/person)

$20 hunting fee due Sept. 9
For those selected to hunt.

  • Online payment
    Purchase code required - check your notification letter

2013 Hunting Rules (PDF)

2013 Deer Hunt Map (PDF)

2013 MN DNR Licensing Options Map (PDF)

2013 Hunt Training Video (YouTube)

Sunday, Oct 20 St. Cloud Times article

Contact Us

Abbey Arboretum
Saint John's Abbey
2346 Science Drive
PO Box 3000
Collegeville, MN 56321

Main Office:
104 New Science Center

(320) 363-3163
Fax (320) 363-3202

Driving directions