Minnesota deer harvest up 10 percent
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota firearms hunters registered 145,054 deer through the second weekend of deer season as more corn was out of the fields, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Preliminary results through the second weekend show that the number of deer registered was up 10 percent from 2016.
There were 70,724 deer taken during the first weekend and 74,330 this past weekend.
Of the deer harvested over the firearms season, 54 percent were bucks, compared to 63 percent in 2016.
The hot spot continued to be in northeastern Minnesota In Zone 1 where the harvest was up 25 percent. In Zone 2, which covers the majority of the state in the west and central counties and runs from Canada to Iowa, harvest was up 6 percent. In Zone 3 in southeastern Minnesota, the November harvest was down 12 percent.
“It appears as though deer harvest improved substantially since the first weekend,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager. “Getting more corn out of the fields and a bit drier weather likely helped.”
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 harvest to be around 200,000. The 2016 total harvest was 173,213.
In much of Minnesota, the firearms deer season ended Nov. 12. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Sunday, Nov. 19; the late southeast season, which runs Saturday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 26; and the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 25, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 10. More information on deer management can be found at mndnr.gov/deer.