Minnesota deer hunt down 6 percent
Windy, rainy hunting weather on weekends, fewer deer and fewer doe permits have combined to push hunters’ success down for Minnesota’s firearm deer season.
Hunters shot 128,814 deer through Sunday, the second weekend of the firearms season, down 6 percent from last year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The harvest is down 25 percent in the zone that includes northeastern Minnesota.
Statewide, the buck harvest is down 7 percent, with doe harvest down 5 percent from 2012, which was a low harvest year compared to the average over the past decade.
The firearms deer season continues in Northeastern Minnesota through Sunday but ended across much of the sate Nov. 17.
Weekend harvests, particularly opening weekend, drive the total harvest numbers because more hunters are afield, the DNR said, and weather was less than ideal on those weekends this year.
The DNR said the northeastern harvest is down for several other reasons, including a moderate-to-severe previous winter, which probably caused deer succumbing to the weather and to fewer fawns born last spring. That spurred the DNR to offer far fewer doe permits, which cut into this year’s harvest.