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Deer season notebook: Minnesota firearms deer harvest continues to trail 2020

As of Tuesday morning, Nov. 16, hunters statewide had registered 120,014 deer during the firearms season, according to DNR data. That’s down 11% from last year and 12% from the five-year average. In 200-series permit areas, which includes much of northwest Minnesota, registrations were down 11% from 2020.

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Deer react to a person taking their photograph while feeding in an open area in this undated photo. Minnesota's firearms deer harvest through Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, continued to lag behind 2020, according to Department of Natural Resources data. Duluth News Tribune / file
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Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest continued to lag behind recent years after the second weekend of season, statistics from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources show.

As of Tuesday morning, Nov. 16, hunters statewide had registered 120,014 deer during the firearms season, according to DNR data. That’s down 11% from last year and 12% from the five-year average.

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In 200-series permit areas, which includes much of northwest Minnesota, registrations were down 11% from 2020. Registrations in 100-series permit areas of northeast Minnesota were down 11%, and 300-series permit areas were down 16%.
Hunters registered an estimated 75,534 whitetails during the first four days of season that began Saturday, Nov. 6, the DNR reported Friday, Nov. 12. That was down 6% from 2020 and 7% below the five-year average.

The firearms deer season ended Sunday, Nov. 14, in the 200-series areas, but runs through Sunday, Nov. 21, in the 100-series units. A second season is set for Nov. 20-28 in the 300-series permit areas, and the statewide muzzleloader season runs from Saturday, Nov. 27, to Sunday, Dec. 12.

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Including the October youth firearms deer hunting season and the archery season to date, hunters in Minnesota had registered 154,798 deer through Thursday morning. The DNR has a goal of about 200,000 deer registered each year through all seasons.

– Herald staff report

Archery deer hunters do well at Camp Ripley

Deer hunters who participated in the Camp Ripley archery hunt Oct. 29-31 near Little Falls, Minnesota, had a strong harvest, the DNR said.

“With the change in format to a single, three-day event we anticipated a lower harvest,” said Bill Faber, head of the Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program in Brainerd, Minnesota. “But, with the robust deer herd at Camp Ripley, hunters still experienced about 14% success, well above the long-term average of 9% for the hunt.”

This year, 1,949 participating hunters shot 273 deer, at least 10 of which were large bucks, Faber said. The largest was an 11-point buck taken during the morning of Oct. 29 by Anthony Swenson of Waconia, Minnesota. Last year, 1,864 hunters shot 310 deer over two, two-day hunts.

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Anthony Swenson of Waconia, Minnesota, took the largest deer during the annual archery hunt at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, Minnesota, with this 11-point buck he shot Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. Contributed / Minnesota DNR

The DNR coordinates the annual hunt in collaboration with Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program and the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre military reservation.

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– Herald staff report

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The plan greenlights a variety of projects with money from Minnesota's outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails and cultural heritage funds.
You may be eligible even if you don’t have a fisheries and wildlife degree or law enforcement background.
Do you have a fishing or hunting photo you'd like to share? Send your photos to bdokken@gfherald.com.