DNR projects much smaller deer harvest

PHOTO: David DeHetre, Creative Commons license

PHOTO: David DeHetre, Creative Commons license

The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota DNR officials are projecting the lowest deer harvest in more than 30 years for the upcoming rifle deer hunting season. But that’s all part of the plan:

By design, this year’s deer harvest will be one of the lowest we’ve seen in decades,” Leslie McInenly, big game program leader for the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said Monday.

“In fact, our total harvest this year may end up coming in around 120,000,” McInenly said, far below the 170,000 bagged last year.

The 120,000 estimate, if it holds, would be the lowest total killed since 93,045 were bagged in 1982, according to DNR records.

With far fewer antlerless permits being issued, the season will be bucks only for most hunters. It’s been a beautiful fall in Northern Minnesota, but if the weather turns (as it must, right?) I wonder how many hunters might hit the woods a little more lightly knowing that the hunt is going to be a challenge this year? As a denizen of the woods, I can attest that there are deer out there, though I’ve seen fewer than last year.

My projecting hunting total, however, remains the same.

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