Plan on Hunting the Pillsbury State Forest? Read This First:

From the DNR:

Hunters and other recreationists who frequent the Pillsbury State Forest in Cass and Crow Wing counties can expect to encounter active salvage logging operations and other cleanup activities throughout the fall and winter. The activity will likely interrupt hunting as DNR foresters and contractors work to clean up 1,102 acres of downed wood and damaged trees, and to reduce the potential for wildfire.

A severe wind storm July 12 toppled trees in portions of the 25,000-acre state forest and surrounding area between Brainerd and Nisswa. As a result, the forest habitat was altered dramatically in some areas where entire stands of mature trees were blown down. Hunters may find their favorite spots are no longer suitable and should allow extra time for pre-season scouting for new locations. Access to some locations could prove challenging as some trails are not yet cleared of fallen trees.

“There are still many areas of the forest where hunters can find a good place to hunt, but they will want to allow plenty of time for scouting and realize there will be noise and activity there,” said Rob Rabasco, Brainerd area assistant wildlife manager. “The altered landscape – combined with the extra human activity – can significantly change animal patterns and behavior, so hunters will want to weigh all of those factors.”

As always, forest users should use caution with any potential sources of fire or ignition. Extra timber and wood debris on the ground can present an opportunity for increased fire danger until there is 3 inches or more of snow cover on the ground.

For more information and updates on the Pillsbury State Forest, visit

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