Minnesota deer kill drops 7 percent

Published 9:18 am Thursday, November 22, 2012

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota hunters killed 7 percent fewer deer this firearms season.

The Department of Natural Resources said the drop was expected as the DNR increased the number of lottery areas where hunters had to have a permit to shoot a deer without antlers. The season is over except for a small part of southeast Minnesota.

The DNR said Wednesday a little over 151,000 deer were taken. The buck harvest was up 9 percent, but 21 percent fewer antlerless deer were killed.

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DNR research manager Lou Cornicelli said the restrictions on antlerless permits were intended to let the state’s deer herd grow.

The state’s muzzleloader season starts Saturday. Bowhunters may also still take deer through the end of the year.