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Deer harvest increases 6.3 percent during first weekend

Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota firearms hunters registered 68,401 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season -- an increase of 6.3 percent from last year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Buck harvest during the first three days of the firearms season was up 8.5 percent from last year.

“Hunters are seeing more deer this year as we continue to build deer populations across much of the state,” said Steve Merchant, DNR 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.”

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 Nov. 15. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season that continues through Nov. 22, the late southeastern season running Nov. 21 through Nov. 29 and the muzzleloader season, which begins Nov. 28, and continues through Dec. 13.