Thousands of hunters get ready for start of Minnesota’s firearms deer season

Published 9:38 am Friday, November 7, 2014

ST. PAUL — Nearly 500,000 hunters wearing blaze orange are expected to be afield Saturday when Minnesota’s firearms deer season gets underway.

But the Department of Natural Resources says those hunters are less likely to bag a deer than in recent years. It’s expecting the lowest deer harvest in decades as wildlife managers seek to rebuild the herd. They’re limiting the take of does, in particular, to improve deer numbers in the future.

Most Minnesota hunters will be able to harvest only one deer. In much of northeastern Minnesota, where two consecutive severe winters took a toll on the population, hunters can only shoot bucks.

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The DNR says the harvest could be as low as 120,000, compared with recent seasons where the kill approached 200,000 deer.

Minnesota’s wolf hunting season also opens Saturday.


Season information 

• In 95 percent of the state, only one deer can be harvested.

• In 69 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas. In 38 areas, hunters have the choice of shooting a doe or a buck.

• Bonus permits allowing hunters to shoot more than one deer may only be used in seven permit areas and for some special hunts.