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Minnesota deer season ends ahead of 2019, recovers big time after poor opening weekend

License sales through the season are up 1 % over 2019, but still the second lowest in the past 20 years.

Minnesota firearms deer season
Overall deer registrations through all of Minnesota's regular firearms deer seasons ended up 4% statewide comapred to 2019 and up 2% in the 100-numbered management areas in the northeast. (John Myers / jmyers@duluthnews.com)

Minnesota deer hunters bounced back from a disappointing opening weekend to end the 2020 firearms deer season with a 4% increase in overall deer registered compared to 2019.

According to preliminary data from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a total of 142,499 deer were registered through Monday.

In the 100-numbered deer management areas, which includes all of Northeastern Minnesota, overall registrations hit 39,522 over the 16-day season that ended Nov. 22, up 2% from 2019 but still down 11% from the five-year average.

In the 200-numbered management areas, registrations hit 90,327, up 4% from 2019 and 4% from the five-year average.

In the 300-numbered management areas, registrations totaled 12,700, up 11% from 2019 and 20% from the five-year average.
With archery and other special seasons included, Minnesota’s total deer registrations stand at 176,857, up 7% from last year at this time. The statewide muzzleloader season runs Nov. 28 to Dec. 13 and will add to that total.


Deer registrations were down double-digits statewide after a windy and very warm opening weekend of the firearms seasons, but improved in almost all areas with cooler weather and some snow on the ground in the north.

Meanwhile, overall firearms hunting license sales hit 433,121 as of the day after the season, up 1% from that point in 2019 but still the second-fewest sold in the past 20 years.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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