Hunters in Minnesota can now access nearly 30,000 acres of private land across 47 counties in western and south-central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program, which pays landowners to allow hunter access.

Hunters with a $3 Walk-In Access validation may access these lands from one half-hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset during open hunting seasons between Sept. 1 and May 31. No additional landowner contact is necessary.

The Walk-In Access program began in 2011 and is currently funded with a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Other funding sources come through a surcharge on non-resident hunting licenses, a one-time appropriation from the Minnesota legislature in 2012 and donations from hunters.

- Image courtesy of the Minnesota DNR Web site