University of Minnesota
UMore Park

Vermillion Highlands: A Research, Recreation and Wildlife Management Area

Wildlife Management

Vermillion Highlands is a modified wildlife management area (WMA), defined by a unique joint management effort, including representation from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), University of Minnesota, and Dakota County, in order that research, recreation, and wildlife management activities can take place simultaneously on the property. Vermillion Highlands, the state's first and only modified WMA offers a variety of hunting activities throughout the year. Permitted trapping, archery and firearms hunting provide for responsible management of turkey, deer, pheasant, goose, coyote, raccoon and other animals.

Wildlife management activities at Vermillion Highlands are administered by the Minnesota DNR. Please contact the DNR area manager at 651-322-4643 with questions or to learn more about hunting at Vermillion Highlands.

Hunting Annual Schedule

Turkey Spring Turkey Hunt: April 17-May 30, 2013

Fall Turkey Hunt: CLOSED
  • Vermillion Highlands will not be open for turkey hunting during the 2013 season.
Deer Archery Hunt: September 14-November 3, 2013
  • 65 permits will be available (application deadline August 15, 2013)
  • All successful applicants must attend an orientation session on the evening of August 29, 2013 to receive valid permit.
Shotgun Hunt: November 9-22, 2013
  • 25 permits will be available (application deadline September 5, 2013)
  • All successful applicants musts attend an orientation session on the evening of October 24, 2013 to receive valid permit.
Muzzleloader Hunt: November 30-December 15, 2013
  • 25 permits will be available (application deadline September 5, 2013)
  • All successful applicants must attend an orientation session on the evening of November 21, 2013 to receive valid permit.
Application information is available on the DNR Web site for Vermillion Highlands. Shotgun and Muzzleloader special deer hunt applications will be handled through the Electronic Licensing System (ELS).  Lottery winners must attend the mandatory orientation session prior to deer hunting on Vermillion Highlands.
Pheasant Late season pheasant hunt: December 16, 2013 - January 1, 2014

Pheasant hunting is available on a first-come, first-served basis by designated parking spaces. Hunters are required to park in one of the designated parking slots located within the WMA.
Goose Late season goose hunt: December 16, 2013 through end of season (TBD)

Goose hunting on the Vermillion Highlands is permitted during the December (Late) season only. All regular rules and regulations apply. Visit the DNR Web site on waterfowl hunting for additional information.

Trapping Annual Schedule

Furbearers October 27, 2012-February 28, 2013

All trappers must, regardless of furbearers taken, obtain a special use permit from the Vermillion Highlands DNR area manager. Call 651-322-4643 for information.

For additional details on the season start and end dates and required licenses and permits, visit the DNR Web site.

View the DNR 2010 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook (4.05 MB PDF) with special attention to the regulations pertaining to the Public Lands and Wildlife Refuges section.

Maps and Directions

View a map of Vermillion Highlands (415 KB PDF).

For directions to Vermillion Highlands located on the south side of UMore Park, view the Map and Directions to UMore Park (65.3 KB PDF). View the Lone Rock Trail Map (214.7 KB PDF) to note the location of the recreational trail loops for horseback riding, hiking and cross-country skiing.


Note to Hunters

In addition to hunting activities, Vermillion Highlands is home to the Lone Rock Trail, used by hikers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. These activities take place December 12 through October 31 annually.