Archery Deer Hunt

Mon, Oct 9 – Sun, Dec 31, 2024

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.

Important Links

Applications and $5 application fee due by 4 p.m. Monday, August 5, 2024.

$35 hunting fee due Aug 30, 2024 for all selected hunters.

Important Dates

Hunt Overview

Type of Hunt

Archery hunting will be the only option. 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.

This is a walk-in hunt. Passenger vehicles may be used only on specified dates to carry stands/ground blinds closer to hunting districts and to retrieve harvested deer with Life Safety notification and approval. Parking will be allowed in several designated parking locations throughout the hunt (see map).

The hunt will be reassessed once 50 deer are taken. If Saint John’s decides to end the hunt at that point, hunters who have not yet taken a deer will not be able to continue hunting at Saint John’s this season.

Hunting Schedule
Priority Points for Lottery

About 100 hunters will be selected to archery hunt. Within groups of applicants with equal point scores, random selection will determine priority. Points are awarded as follows:

Bow Hunter Education

The MN DNR Bow Hunter Education course is available entirely online. There are two options available to hunters interested in obtaining this certificate:

  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. 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.

Youth ages 12 and older are eligible for bow hunter education certification. Youth ages 12-15 must first complete a Firearm Safety Training course before completing bow hunter education.

Choosing a Hunting District

Each hunter may have up to 2 stands or ground blinds. Review the Deer Hunt Map to see districts and number of hunters per district.


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 Abbey Arboretum Hunting Rules for more details.

We thank hunters for your cooperation and interest in conservation to help assure a healthy, balanced ecosystem. We have heard many positive comments from hunters about the hunt and the land. Consider a membership donation to Outdoor U in support of our education and stewardship efforts.