Fall in Minnesota means hundreds of thousands of our fellow Minnesotans pull out their blaze orange and look forward to deer hunting. For many, it is a fall tradition and a chance to connect with nature.

Minnesota’s white-tailed deer can be found across the grasslands and prairies in southwestern Minnesota, over to the bluff country around the Mississippi River, and to the old growth forests up north. Protecting these habitats means future-generation hunters can also get out in nature every fall. Now that is a win for Minnesota.

Since 1990, Lottery dollars (through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund or ENRTF for short) have enabled the purchase, restoration, enhancement, or protection of more than 100,000 acres of land across Minnesota that serve as habitats for the state’s deer and other game populations.

These dollars have done more than sustain deer populations: natural wetland basins have been restored, native plants have been replanted and nourished, and oak savannahs that serve as homes for deer, grouse, turkey, and other birds have been replenished. In addition, the ENRTF has funded the survey of deer habitats, research into the impact of predatory wolves on the deer population, and important research into the detection, control, and treatment of Chronic Wasting Disease, which has a large impact on Minnesota’s deer herds.

In many states, public hunting land is rare. Minnesota, however, has an abundance of state wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges. The Minnesota Lottery is proud to see game proceeds invested in the conservation of the state’s native wildlife and the protection of Minnesota game animal populations.