This weekend approximately 500,000 orange-clad hunters are dispersed into the fields and forests of Minnesota to pursue white-tailed deer, and to once again allocate time afield with family and friends.

Related: Bill Marchel: Good hunting on the 2020 duck opener

In Minnesota, the whitetail thrives in every habitat type our great state has to offer, from the aspen parklands and bogs of the north, to the rolling oak bluffs and farm fields of the south. Deer are even common in our backyards, although often not to our liking.

Some bucks, like this big bodied brute, travel extensively during the rut, seeking does in estrus. The peak of the rut, usually between Nov. 8-12, will fall during Minnesota's firearms season. Photo by Bill Marchel
Some bucks, like this big bodied brute, travel extensively during the rut, seeking does in estrus. The peak of the rut, usually between Nov. 8-12, will fall during Minnesota's firearms season. Photo by Bill Marchel

For the hunter and non-hunter alike, just spotting a big buck sporting marvelous antlers and a bulging rut-swollen neck is a lasting memory. Even the view of a graceful doe beneath your deer stand, or leaping skyward with its huge white tail waving from side to side, is not soon forgotten. When we spot a freshly made scrape, or a tree sapling torn to shreds by an amorous buck, we pause and wonder about the animal and its whereabouts.

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Related: Discover fascinating facts about deer antlers

If you are a deer hunter, or an outdoor enthusiast, and the images on this page don't quicken your pulse, call 911.

Hunt safely and enjoy the 2020 Minnesota firearms deer hunting season.

BILL MARCHEL is a wildlife and outdoors photographer and writer whose work appears in many regional and national publications as well as the Brainerd Dispatch. He may be reached at bill@billmarchel.com. You also can visit his website at BillMARCHEL.com.