Minnesota opening weekend deer harvest down 13% from 2022

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Minnesota’s opening weekend firearms deer harvest is down 13% statewide from 2022, based on statistics from the Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota’s firearms deer season opened Saturday, Nov. 4.

According to the DNR, Minnesota hunters registered 47,138 deer during the first two days of the season. The opening weekend tally also is down 28% from the five-year mean, DNR statistics show.

Here’s a look at the opening weekend deer harvest by region:

Northwest Region: 13,224 deer were registered, down 16% from 2022 and 38% below the five-year mean.

Northeast Region: 9,299, down 19% from last year and 40% below the five-year mean.

Central Region: 16,788, down 4% from 2022 and 14% below the five-year mean.

Southwest Region: 7,827, down 17% from 2022 and 18% from the five-year mean.

“We anticipated lower numbers for northern Minnesota coming off another tough winter,” Barb Keller, Big Game Program leader for the DNR in St. Paul, said in an email. “Not sure yet about the lower harvest in Central and the Southwest – I thought we were on time for corn harvest – but I hope we can make up some ground there during the remainder of the season.”

The firearms deer season continues through Nov. 19 in the 100-series deer permit areas that include all of northeastern Minnesota. The 200-units season, which includes most of northwest Minnesota, continues through Nov. 12, with the 300-units season also continuing through Nov. 12 and again Nov. 18-26.

Minnesota hunters registered 137,034 deer during the 2022 firearms deer season, a success rate of 29.7 percent, DNR statistics show. Combined with archery and muzzleloader seasons, Minnesota hunters registered 172,265 deer in 2022.

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