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DNR releases deer numbers from opening weekend

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 70,724 deer during the first two days of deer season, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Preliminary numbers from opening weekend show the number of deer registered was close to the same as 201...

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Preliminary numbers from opening weekend show the number of deer registered was close to the same as 2016, a DNR news release said. Of the deer registered, 57 percent were bucks, compared to 67 percent of the first weekend of the season in 2016. BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 70,724 deer during the first two days of deer season, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Preliminary numbers from opening weekend show the number of deer registered was close to the same as 2016, a DNR news release said. Of the deer registered, 57 percent were bucks, compared to 67 percent of the first weekend of the season in 2016.

In Zone 1, in northeastern Minnesota, total firearms-registered deer was up 16 percent. In Zone 2, which covers the majority of the state and runs from Canada to Iowa, the number of deer taken was down 5 percent and Zone 3, in southeastern Minnesota, was down 20 percent.

"We expected to see an increased harvest this year, and that appears to be so in Zone 1. In the other zones where the first weekend harvest is off, it could be that the amount of standing corn negatively affected deer harvest," said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager in a news release. "If that is the case, we should see improved deer harvest as more corn is harvested."

Based upon the number of antlerless permits available and the number of permit areas that allow multiple deer to be taken, the DNR is projecting the 2017 total deer killed by hunters to be around 200,000. The 2016 total was 173,213.

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In much of Minnesota, the deer season continues through Nov. 12. Additional deer will be hunted during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Nov. 19; the late southeast season, which runs Nov. 18-26; and the muzzleloader season, which begins Nov. 25 and continues through Dec. 10. More information on deer management may be found at www.mndnr.gov/deer .

Related Topics: HUNTING
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