Minnesota firearms hunters registered 68,401 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season, according to the DNR. “Hunters are seeing more deer this year as we continue to build deer populations across much of the state,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager. “We’ve issued a conservative number of antlerless deer permits, and because of this, many hunters are seeing deer they can’t shoot. However, patience this year should translate to more harvest opportunities in the future.”
Final numbers from the first three days show that the number of deer registered rose 6.3 percent from 2014. Buck harvest during the first three days of the firearms season was up 8.5 percent from last year. Zone 1 total firearms harvest was up 8.2 percent, Zone 2 was up 5.9 percent and Zone 3 was up 3.2 percent. The DNR is projecting the 2015 total deer harvest to be between 140,000 to 155,000 deer. The 2014 total harvest after last year’s conservative season was just over 139,000.
In much of Minnesota, the deer season continues through Sunday, Nov. 15. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Sunday, Nov. 22: the late southeastern season, which runs Saturday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 29: and the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 28, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 13.
New this year, hunters can preview an interactive deer information tool being developed by the DNR at http://www.mndnr.gov/deermap. This map is the first step toward launching an online application that delivers useful information hunters need and want. Hunters are encouraged to take a look at the application, discuss it and provide DNR with feedback. More information on deer management can be found at http://www.mndnr.gov/deer.