• Hunter Info
  • Enroll Land
  • Program Info
  • Donations
  • Program Evaluation
  • WIA Site Status Changes
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Walk-In Access (WIA) Program

...providing public hunting opportunities on private lands thanks to volunteer landowners.

  • Hunters must purchase a WIA Validation to legally hunt WIA Sites this fall. Purchase Online or by phone: 1-888-665-4236 (ELS CODE 190)

    It is a nominal $3, a portion of which covers the license transaction with the remainder to be used for a hunter evaluation next year. The validation will also give DNR and policymakers a way to track the number of hunters whom hunt Walk-In Access sites. Landowners cannot give others permission to hunt without a validation.

  • Walk-In Access sites are open during any legal hunting season from Sept. 1 to May 31. Please respect private property and verify public hunting areas by observing boundary signs.
  • Walk-In Access sites Trapping FAQ This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
  • Clay County WIA #55 is within the Clay County Game Refuge and is closed to waterfowl hunting during the regular season. Open to all other hunting.
  • Walk-In Access sites (WIA) are only open to hunting where WIA boundaries are posted with WIA signs. Landowners may opt out of the program, and will be reflected in the Online Atlas and the WIA County Interactive Map.
  • Only walk-in hunting traffic is allowed on enrolled acres. "No target practice, trapping, dog training, camping, horseback riding or fires are allowed by the public. The landowner retains the right to engage in, or give permission to engage in hiking/dog walking on a leash, trapping, camping, horseback riding, or campfires, and other limited activities that do not impede public hunting." No vehicle traffic is allowed. Parking is along roads or in designated parking areas.
  • Hunters must follow the Code of Conduct This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. developed for WIA lands.
  • DON'T FORGET TO CHECK THE "WALK-IN ACCESS SITE STATUS CHANGES" FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON WIA SITE CHANGES

Find a WIA Interactive Map

 

See WIAs for Clay County See WIAs for Becker County See WIAs for Otter Tail County See WIAs for Wilkin County See WIAs for Grant County See WIAs for Douglas County See WIAs for Traverse County See WIAs for Stevens County See WIAs for Pope County See WIAs for Big Stone County See WIAs for Swift County See WIAs for Kandiyohi County See WIAs for Meeker County See WIAs for Lac Qui Parle County See WIAs for Chippewa County See WIAs for McLeod County See WIAs for Yellow Medicine County See WIAs for Renville County See WIAs for Redwood County See WIAs for Lincoln County See WIAs for Lyon County See WIAs for Brown County See WIAs for Blue Earth County See WIAs for Pipestone County See WIAs for Murray County See WIAs for Cottonwood County See WIAs for Watonwan County See WIAs for Jackson County See WIAs for Martin County

Click on a county in the map to bring up detailed maps of WIAs

WIA tools

ALL WIA sites will OPEN to
Public Hunting Sept 1, 2015.

Printed Atlas Updates

WIA maps & data

All map data and map products (including Google Earth, Google Map, and GPS files) are general and do not accurately represent the actual legal or established boundary of these areas, and thus should be used for reference only. Please respect private property and verify public hunting areas by observing boundary signs.

Eligible Lands

  • Enrollment is limited to 35 counties.

  • Hunting is allowed during legal seasons between September 1st and May 31st.

  • Landowners are afforded liability protection through the Recreational Use Statutes. Specifically under Sections 604A.20 through 604A.27 under Public Benefit or Function Activities in the CIVIL LIABILITY LIMITATIONS Chapter

  • Must be at least 40 acres in size or it must be contiguous with a public hunting unit (e.g. WPA or WMA) or another WIA parcel that is 40 acres or more in size.

  • Priority is given to lands enrolled in a conservation program such as the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or the state Reinvest in Minnesota Reserve program (RIM), or other state and federal conservation programs.

  • Lands not enrolled in a conservation program may be eligible if high quality wildlife cover exists and is maintained by the landowner.

  • Lands within 500 feet of a home or corral occupied by livestock cannot be enrolled, unless they are occupied by the cooperator or his/her livestock.

  • The enrolled parcel must be accessible from a public road.

  • The habitat must be maintained through the enrollment period.

  • Landowners, or the State, may terminate the contract at any time (effective 30 days after written notice of termination is received).

2015 Enrollment begins March 1st.

To find out more information about enrolling land in the Walk-In Access program, please call your local Soil and Water Conservation District office (SWCD). SWCD contact info

 

Printable 2015 MN Walk-In Program Fact Sheet

Program Info

The goal of the Walk-In Access (WIA) program is to provide new hunting opportunities on private land that is already enrolled in existing conservation programs or lands with high quality wildlife cover.

The WIA program is entirely voluntary for landowners. Most landowners chose to enroll their property for two or three years. Enrolled lands are covered under the Minnesota recreational use laws that limit landowners' liability. DNR conservation officers handle trespass and hunting violations.

WIA started in 2011 as a two-year pilot program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Voluntary Public Access Program. The DNR continues to seek permanent funding to continue the program in 2015 and beyond.

 WIA acres and site data for 2014.

WIA 2014 Stats: Acres Sites
Enrollments 20708

196

Total as of 11.12.14 20708

196

 

Minnesota’s Walk-In Access Program is Established in Law

The 2012 Minnesota Legislature established a Walk-In Access (WIA) Program (Minnesota Statutes 97A.126) to provide public access to wildlife habitat on private land for hunting, excluding trapping.

Donations

The long term future of the Walk-In Access Hunting program will depend, in part, on financial donations from individuals and organizations.

 
When hunters purchase a small game or deer license they will be asked if they would like to donate $1, $3 or $5 to help fund the Walk-In Access Program.


Individuals and organizations may also mail in donations of $25 or more for the WIA Program to the DNR. If you wish to make a donation please make the check out to the MN Dept. of Natural Resources and write “Walk-In Access” in the memo line. DO NOT use this form to purchase a WIA Validation which is required to legally hunt these sites. Validations can be purchased from DNR Online License Sales. Please fill out the Walk-In Access Donation Form This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. and mail it with the check to:


Walk-In Access Program Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
261 Highway 15 South
New Ulm, MN 56073

For more information about donating to the Walk-In Access Program please contact us at walk-in@state.mn.us or 507-359-6046.

Help Evaluate the Pilot Program

If you hunted a WIA, we want to hear from you about your experience. Please take a few minutes to answer five questions about your WIA hunts, our website and map products, and offer comments on the program. Start by clicking the link below.

WIA program evaluation

WIA Site Status Changes

This page provides current status for Walk-In Access sites that have either been added to or removed from the program after the printed version of the atlas was released OR are effected by emergency grazing/haying, prescribed management, and upgrade/cover disturbances. Both the online version of the WIA Atlas and the online WIA tile sheets have been updated to reflect these status changes in the table below. The list below will be updated as needed throughout the season. Changes to a site's status will be posted as soon as DNR staff are informed of changes by County SWCD staff.

Status indicators include:

  • Open - WIA site is open to hunting but was not included on the printed atlas.

  • Closed - WIA site is closed to hunting because the WIA contract has been terminated OR activities to improve the wildlife cover are taking place, but is still on the printed atlas.

  • Grazed or Hayed - Landowners for these WIA sites has indicated they MAY utilize emergency haying or grazing activities, or the cover has changed on a portion of the site.

  • Prescribed Management - Landowners with lands enrolled in a conservation program, such as CRP or RIM Reserve, have carried out required management activities to improve or maintain the quality of the vegetative cover. These sites may be clipped, hayed, or burned.

  • Cover Upgrade/Disturbance - Landowners enrolled in a conservation program are sometimes required to upgrade the cover. These sites may be tilled or have sparse vegetative cover.

  • Restricted - WIA site has some restrictions.

WIA Site Name  Atlas Page (Tile#) Status Status Comments
Becker WIA #44 9 (Tile #42) Closed  
Becker WIA #92 8 (Tile #41) Closed  
Kandiyohi WIA #17 19 (Tile #69) Closed  
Lac Qui Parle WIA #43 17 (Tile #67) Partially Closed  The eastern 77 acres has been closed to public hunting.
Murray WIA #3 29 (Tile #87) Closed  
Pipestone #4 28 (Tile #86) Closed  
Stevens # 53   Closed Land was sold.
Stevens #102 15 (Tile #61) Partially Closed The western 29 acres has been closed to public hunting.
Wilkin # 32 10 (Tile #47) Closed The Wilkin County WIA #32 was recently sold to DNR Wildlife and will become part of the Manston Marsh WMA.
WIA Site Name Atlas Page (Tile#) Status Status Comments
Clay WIA #55 7 (Tile #40) Restricted Site is within the Clay County State Game Refuge. Closed to waterfowl hunting during the regular waterfowl season.  Check regulations for further verification.
Clay WIA #75 10 (Tile #47) Prescribed Management Portion of this site undergoing prescribed management through conservation grazing.  Short grasses will be present  in some areas.
Cottonwood WIA #6 30 (Tile #88) Prescribed Management Grasslands have been hayed.
Douglas WIA #36 14 (Tile #56) Cover Upgrade/Disturbance  Site will be partially mowed/hayed this year.
Douglas WIA #41 13 (Tile #55) Cover Upgrade/Disturbance  Site will be partially mowed/hayed this year.
Jackson WIA #1 32 (Tile #96) Cover Upgrade/Disturbance Site will be partially mowed/hayed this year.
Lac qui Parle #1 21 (Tile #73) Prescribed Management Site was mowed and sprayed this fall to prepare for reseeding. Site reseeded through CRP.
Lac Qui Parle WIA #46  21 (Tile #73)  Prescribed Management  Site will be partially mowed/hayed this year.
Lincoln WIA #3 25 (Tile #79) Prescribed Management Site is undergoing prescribed management this year.  Limited hunting opportunities may exist.
Lincoln WIA #24 25 (Tile #79) Cover Upgrade/Disturbance Site will be partially mowed/hayed this year.
McLeod WIA #79 24 (Tile #76) Prescribed Management Prescribed burning being conducted Spring of 2015.
Murray WIA #2 29 (Tile #87) Prescribed Management Site is currently under prescribed management.  Site was partially clipped and has some areas of flood damage.
Murray WIA #16  29 (Tile#87) Prescribed Management Southern portion of the site undergoing a cover upgrade/disturbance.  Limited hunting opportunity exists in this area.
 Ottertail WIA #39  13 (Tile #55) Prescribed Management Site is undergoing prescribed management this year.  Limited hunting opportunities may exist.
Pipestone #11 28 (Tile #86) Prescribed Management Site will be partially hayed this year.  Limited hunting opportunities may exist across portions of this site.
Watonwan #1 30 (Tile #88) Prescribed Management Site has been partially hayed this year for management purposes.
Wilkin #61 10 (Tile #47) Prescribed Management Site reseeded through CRP.
Yellow Medicine WIA #3 21 (Tile #73) Prescribed Management Site is undergoing a cover type upgrade this year.   Site may be tilled or have sparse vegetative cover.  Access to site  from the end of 160th St. on minimum maintenance/field road.
Yellow Medicine WIA #6 22 (Tile #74) Prescribed Management Portion of this site undergoing prescribed management through conservation grazing.  Short grasses will be present  in some areas.
Yellow Medicine WIA #7 22 (Tile #74) Prescribed Management Portion of this site undergoing prescribed management through conservation grazing.  Short grasses will be present  in some areas.
Yellow Medicine WIA #13 21 (Tile #73) Prescribed Management Portion of this site is undergoing prescribed management through haying. Limited hunting opportunities may exist.