(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Mintaka III was the inhabited third planet orbiting the primary Mintaka. This was the homeworld to the Mintakans, a pre-warp proto-Vulcan humanoid species. It was also home to the non-sentient hornbuck.
By 2366, the Federation had been covertly observing the Mintakans on the planet for several years. That year, the existence of the anthropological team recording their behavior was exposed to the Mintakans when the generator powering their duck blind malfunctioned. As a result, the team suffered several injuries and two fatalities, and during the course of their retrieval by the USS Enterprise-D the cultural contamination was worsened when several Mintakans witnessed the Federation's use of their advanced technology which they assumed was the power of the god they called 'The Picard'. (TNG: "Who Watches The Watchers")
Later that same year, when Captain Jean-Luc Picard was kidnapped and held along with three other individuals of other species, one of which was actually one of the kidnappers posing as a Bolian Starfleet cadet named Mitena Haro. Her knowledge of the Enterprise-D's visit to Mintaka III led him to realize she might be an impostor; due to the recentness of the visit it was unlikely a cadet would have known of it. Picard confirmed his suspicion when she claimed to know of the Enterprise-D's mission to Cor Caroli V to cure an outbreak of the Phyrox plague, an incident which Starfleet had classified as "secret." (TNG: "Allegiance")
The Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 44) and StarTrek.com classified Mintaka III as a class M planet. In a note in the Star Trek Encyclopedia to the planet's entry, it was noted that the exterior scenes, of the planet's surface, were filmed at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.