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Minnesota firearms deer harvest could exceed 195,000

Minnesota DNR officials report that firearm hunters have registered 171,000 deer since the firearm season opened on Nov. 6. During opening weekend, 107,000 deer were registered.

"This year is on pace to exceed the 195,000 we harvested in 2009," said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator.

Cornicelli said the new online and toll-free phone deer registration options have decreased the time lag between harvest and reporting and opening-weekend numbers should not change very much over time.

All firearms deer hunting seasons in Minnesota have ended with the exception of the muzzleloader season. That season began Nov. 27 and will remain open until Dec. 12.