Walk-In Access

Walk-In Access (WIA) Program

Public Hunting on Private Land

Two hunters in a WIA

  • Hunter Info
  • Enroll Land
  • Program Info
  • Donations
  • Program Evaluation
  • WIA Site Status Changes

Hunter Information

Check above for WIA status updates and closures.

Download 2017 Atlas (22.8 MB)

Walk-In Access sites are open during any legal hunting season from Sept. 1 to May 31.
You must purchase a WIA Validation to legally hunt WIA Sites.
Purchase Online or call: 1-888-665-4236 (ELS CODE 190)

Landowners cannot give others permission to hunt without a validation.

Hunters must:

  • Respect private property and verify public hunting areas by observing boundary signs.
    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.
  • Park along roads or in designated parking areas.
  • No motorized vehicles are allowed.
    "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 these, and other limited activities that do not impede public hunting."
    Read Trapping FAQ This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. for more information about trapping.
  • Follow the Code of Conduct This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. for WIA lands.
    (Alternative versions: Español, Hmong)

Find a WIA

Choose a county below to bring up detailed maps of WIAs.


See WIAs for Norman County See WIAs for Mahnomen County See WIAs for Clay County See WIAs for Becker County See WIAs for Otter Tail County See WIAs for Wilkin County See WIAs for Todd County See WIAs for Grant County See WIAs for Douglas County See WIAs for Traverse County See WIAs for Stevens County See WIAs for Stearns 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 Le Sueur 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 Waseca County See WIAs for Steele County See WIAs for Watonwan County See WIAs for Nobles County See WIAs for Jackson County See WIAs for Martin County

Note: counties in gray are part of the WIA program but do not currently have any sites.

Mapping tools

Note: All WIA map and GPS products should be used as a reference only to the official boundary of public hunting lands posted in the field. Hunters should not rely on printed hunting atlases or downloaded digital map products from previous years as there are often changes to WIA boundaries including site closures and new sites added. Note that access points to some WIA sites are limited as identified by WIA trail symbols and text explanations included on maps provided on these pages.

Eligible Lands

  • Enrollment is limited to 46 counties.

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

  • 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 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 natural 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).

The next enrollment period begins in January 2018.

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 2017 MN Walk-In Program Fact Sheet

Program Info

Walk-In Access (WIA) provides public hunting opportunities on private land that is already enrolled in existing conservation programs or lands with high quality natural cover.

WIA program is 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.

PROGRAM FUNDING: This program started in 2011 when the state received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Voluntary Public Access Program. Another grant of 1.67 million was awarded to help fund the program from 2015 to 2018, by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-3A75-16-509. Additional funding includes:

  • A one-time appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature in 2012
  • A $5.00 surcharge on nonresident hunting licenses
  • Donations of $1, $3, or $5 made by hunters purchasing deer and small game licenses

The DNR continues to seek permanent funding to continue the program into the future.

WIA 2017 Stats:



Total Enrollments as of 08/14/2017 25,335 241


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 hunting access to wildlife habitat on private land.


Hunter's support
Walk-In Access depends, 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 Walk-In Access. Buy a license online.


Mail in a donation:
You may donate $25 or more to Walk-In Access by mail. If you wish to make a donation:

  • Download form and fill out: Walk-In Access Donation Form This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
  • Make your check out to: MN Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Write “Walk-In Access” in the memo line.
  • Mail your completed form and check to:

    Walk-In Access Coordinator
    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
    500 Lafayette Rd
    St. Paul, MN 55155-4040

Note: Do not use this form to purchase a WIA Validation, which is required to legally hunt these sites.

Contact us
For more information about donating to Walk-In Access please contact us at walk-in@state.mn.us or 507-389-8812.

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.

Take survey

WIA Site Status Changes

This page provides current status for Walk-In Access sites that have 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 local 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 have 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
Kandiyohi WIA #238 24 (#69) Closed  
LeSueur WIA #221 32 (#82) Closed  
Lincoln WIA #472 29 (#79) Closed  
Lyon WIA #455 31 (#80) Closed  
Meeker WIA # 474 28 (#75) Closed  
Pope WIA #165 22 (#68) Closed  
Pope WIA #181 22 (#68) Closed  
Stearns WIA #401 20 (#64) Closed  
Stearns WIA #425 19 (#63) Closed


Stevens WIA #374 24 (#70) Closed