If you're like me, you don't hunt hardly ever. With so many rules, hunting options and hidden secrets, it's likely you don't know some of these things.

I asked Steve, our avid hunting guru here in the St. Cloud area, a few questions we'd all love to know answers to, and was happy to talk "hunting"!

Q. I believe "zones" decide what hunting regulations are in effect. In zones in this area you can/can't do what?
A. For the most part this is a slug area and the hunting season spans two weekends, which we are coming up the last weekend.  The best thing for any hunter is check out the MN DNR’s website or pick up a book on the regulations to make sure you are complying with all laws and harvest regulations. (See the DNR's 2015 zone map here)

Q. If I don't know of anybody that has hunting land around here, where can I hunt legally?
A. There is State Land, Tax Forfeited Land or just asking land owners for permission are all great areas to start.

Q. Is it true that all kids under 16 get a doe pass?
A. I believe that is correct but in buck-only areas no antler-less deer can be harvested by any hunter during any season except for residents of veterans’ homes and hunters who are 84 or older.

Q. Is bow hunting season the same dates as gun hunting?
A. No.  Bow Hunting runs Mid September until the end of the year.  Muzzle Load is just after Thanksgiving.

Q. What is your "go-to" gear that guarantees you bag your buck?
A. For any deer hunting (Bow, Slug, Rifle or Muzzle Load) I make sure my clothes are scent-free, I setup my stand downwind between a feeding and sleeping area for deer, I am confident with my skills with my weapon and I like to do 'calls' based on the time of season (Doe in Heat right now and Buck Grunts).

Q. Do county parks allow hunting within them? If you're not hunting should you stay away from these parks during hunting season?
A. I think it really depends on the ordinance of the park. I know a few County parks in Stearns that close for a disabled hunter season November 7-15.

Q. Is there anything I missed?
A. We’ve had warm weather lately, so if I gave any advice to a new hunter….It would be to make sure if you bag an animal, get it gutted and cooled down as soon as possible.  You don’t want to go thru all the work of the hunt and not get to enjoy the harvest.

That's a lot of great information from Steve. Pass this along and stay safe this hunting season!