(a) The commissioner may, by rule, prescribe restrictions and designate areas where deer may be taken, including hunter selection criteria for special hunts established under section 97A.401, subdivision 4. The commissioner may, by rule, prescribe the open seasons for deer within the following periods:
(1) taking with firearms, other than muzzle-loading firearms, between November 1 and December 15;
(2) taking with muzzle-loading firearms between September 1 and December 31; and
(3) taking by archery between September 1 and December 31.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the commissioner may establish special seasons within designated areas at any time of year.
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