REGIONAL— Record warm temperatures and lower deer numbers combined to stymie hunters across the North Country during the opening weekend of the Minnesota firearms deer season.In fact, hunters …
REGIONAL— Record warm temperatures and lower deer numbers combined to stymie hunters across the North Country during the opening weekend of the Minnesota firearms deer season.
In fact, hunters in all of Zone 100, which encompasses all of northeastern and east-central Minnesota, registered just 13,660 deer during the first two days of the season. That’s down 28 percent from last year and 27 percent from the five-year mean.
Statewide, hunters registered just 59,711 deer over the first two days, which typically accounts for about half of the annual firearms deer harvest. At that rate, the statewide deer harvest is expected to finish up around 120,000, or far below the Department of Natural Resources’ stated goal of 200,000.
“Unseasonably warm temperatures reaching into the low 70s negatively impacted daytime deer activity and harvest on both Saturday and Sunday,” said Tom Rusch, Tower DNR area wildlife manager. “A low deer population and low numbers of antlerless deer permits resulting in a “bucks only” season for the majority of hunters.”
While results by permit area were not available, the DNR did make a map of the deer harvest density, which shows the lowest harvest levels in the North Country.