DNR Expects Good Season for Minnesota Deer Hunters

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Hunters who venture into fields and forests for Minnesota’s firearms deer season can expect a good deer season and ample hunting opportunities, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“We can’t guarantee harvest success,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife programs manager. “But we can assure hunters that good deer hunting opportunities exist throughout Minnesota.”

Nearly 500,000 people are expected to participate in the firearms deer season, which opens Saturday, Nov. 5, throughout Minnesota.

Minnesota’s whitetail deer population is about 1 million. The DNR, which manages the herd based on population goals established with public input, expects this year’s harvest to be similar to the 207,000 deer harvested in 2010.

During the late 1990s, deer populations were at high levels in many areas due to a succession of mild winters. DNR enacted liberal hunting regulations to reduce the population, resulting in Minnesota’s deer harvest peaking in 2003 at 290,000.

“Throughout most of Minnesota, deer populations are now at goal levels,” Merchant said. “Bag limits have been reduced in some areas, but the deer population remains strong.”

Most corn, which provides ample standing cover and can significantly impact deer harvest, likely will have been harvested, and last winter wasn’t so severe that deer populations were significantly affected.

The firearms deer season concludes in the northern Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 20, and Sunday, Nov. 13, in all other parts of the state. A late season in southeastern Minnesota that stretches from Watertown in the north to Caledonia in the south opens Saturday, Nov. 19, and closes Sunday, Nov. 27.


Retired2hunt's picture

  It is great to read of


It is great to read of another state that has managed their wildlife so well that their deep population has remained healthy and continues to provide very good harvest numbers.  Kudos to the Minnesota DOW.  Also - great wishes go out to all of the Minnesota hunters this year - be safe and have a great harvest!


numbnutz's picture

Sounds like my Grandpa and

Sounds like my Grandpa and unles and cousins are going to have a good season. I have a group of uncle who baught 530acres and it has some primo hunting. I have seen some monster whitetails on their property. My other uncle and his son have 300 acres in northern Minnesota and they bag some very nice bucks every year. He has been trying to talk my dad and I to come out for a muzzlleloader hunt, but neither of us have ever even shot a smokepole so that could be a bit of a challenge. Good luck to all of you hunting in Minnesota. They sure do have some very nice deer ecspecaily in Northern Minnesota.