Walk-In Access Program

Overview

The Walk-In Access (WIA) program offers public hunting access to private lands, compensating landowners for providing this access. It encompasses over 29,000 acres at more than 260 sites primarily in western and south central Minnesota.

Validation and Fees

  • WIA Validation: Required for legal access. Available for a $3 fee at ELS license vendors, helping to monitor hunter use and contributing to program funding.
  • Funding Sources: Includes a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a one-time appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature, a surcharge on nonresident hunting licenses, and donations from hunters.

Accessing Maps

  • Online and Print Atlases: Detailed maps of WIA sites are available online and in a printed atlas format, providing aerial photos and interactive maps.
  • Locations for Atlases: Available at DNR Southern Region Headquarters, DNR Wildlife offices, local Soil and Water Conservation District offices, and numerous local commerce and tourism outlets. Atlases can also be requested by calling the DNR.

Uses of WIA Land

  • Prohibited Activities: Motorized vehicles, target practice, trapping, dog training, camping, horseback riding, fires, and similar activities are not allowed by the public.
  • Hunting Hours and Seasons: Individuals with a WIA validation can hunt during legal hunting hours and open seasons, from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, with no need for landowner contact during the open hunting seasons.
  • Landowner Rights: Landowners retain the right to engage in or authorize certain activities on their land, provided they do not impede public hunting.
  • Parking: Allowed along roads or in designated areas, ensuring that vehicles do not obstruct field entrances.

Respect and Conduct

  • Land Respect: Hunters are urged to respect the land and the landowners, as the program's success depends on their participation.
  • WIA Code of Conduct: Outlined in detail on the program's website, guiding appropriate behavior and use of the land.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.