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Rick

OutdoorMN News - Minnesota deer facts

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Rick

Deer: The animal

  • Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 lbs., and males weigh about 170 lbs.
  • The biggest white-tailed deer recorded in Minnesota was a 500-pound buck.
  • A whitetail’s home range is about 1 square mile.

Deer hunting

  • There are nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters in Minnesota.
  • Last year, 35 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 53 percent were antlered bucks.
  • 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season.
  • The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season.
  • The highest deer harvests occurred during the early to mid-1990s and from 2000 to 2008. From 2000 to 2008 the harvest topped 200,000 deer each year. The high harvests in the early 2000s occurred at a time when the overriding philosophy was to reduce the deer population so it wouldn’t grow out of control and to address certain environmental, economic and social concerns. Harvests in the 1970s never topped 100,000, while harvests in the 1980s were under 150,000. In 2017, the harvest was just over 197,500.

Deer licenses and seasons

  • In total, about 666,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2017.
  • The three primary types of deer hunting seasons are firearms, muzzleloader and archery. Firearms season opens on Saturday, Nov. 3; muzzleloader on Saturday, Nov. 24; and archery season opened on Sept. 15.
  • The DNR Information Center received over 4,600 inquires via phone and email the week leading up to last year’s firearms deer opener. The majority of the questions were related to the upcoming deer season.

Firearms hunter safety

  • The three most common factors in hunting-related firearms incidents are careless handling, not knowing the safe zone of fire and not being sure of what’s beyond the target.
  • The three tenets of safe firearms handling are: Treat each firearm as if it is loaded by keeping your finger off the trigger; always control the muzzle of your firearm; and be sure of your target and what is beyond.
  • Since 2011, the DNR’s 4,000 certified instructors have provided firearms safety training to 177,453 students.

Deer management in Minnesota

  • The DNR is entrusted to manage the deer herd on behalf of, and for, the benefit of all Minnesotans.
  • The DNR recently completed a strategic statewide deer plan to guide efforts related to deer over the next 10 years.
  • Hunters help manage deer populations, and hunting also is a tool used to control deer diseases, including chronic wasting disease.
  • Opinions on how deer should be managed are diverse, and the DNR values all opinions. Deer population management affects many other natural resources.

More information on deer hunting can be found at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • iiccee63
      Well I went out and checked the lake Friday am. All locked up. I walked out a bit and it looked like 2 inches. It froze over even which is good. Hopefully it's 2 inches out in the middle too. More info to come!
    • iiccee63
      No I haven't. I just know it's there. Sorry
    • MJ1657
      I have never seen as many deer as I did this season. I had several sits that I had 6-9 deer around me at a time.    We are currently doing our post season buck inventory and things are looking good. 
    • ANYFISH2
      Now that our firearms season is over, I have heard various comments of how our deer herd and overall season has gone.   My personal observations have been that I was slighted by the deer this year! Through bow season to date and firearms I have seen a total of 12 deer from stand this year. 4 antlerless deer and 8 bucks, none of which I would guess were older than 2 1/2 yrs old.  This has been one of the slowest years for deer sightings I can remember recently. This development has been a suprise to me, as over the course of the spring and summer the deer in my travels seemed to be very visible and numerous.  I tend to believe that my stand sits were not indicative of the deer population.   A complaint I am again hearing, and am sure will continue, is that there are not enough mature bucks.   My goodness, this is getting old.  From what I have seen and read, if the hunters score and register thier deer Minnesota probably produced 5 different deer over 200" this year.  Morrison county has produced 4 deer that have green scored over 170" that I know of!  And have seen pics of numerous deer I would guess would score over 140".   This state produces 100's of trophy sized deer every year.  There will never be enough for everyone to get one!   Again wolves have been blamed for poor hunting again.  I had one on camera as well.  I am not one to blame poor hunts on them, so I won't.  Hopefully legislation is passed so the state can get control again.     Hunter numbers seem to be decreasing noticeably since I started hunting.  Not a bad thing for me directly, however, may not be good for the future.   What have your observations been?   How has your season gone?   How is population in your opinion?   Anything need fixing in your opinion?
    • monstermoose78
      Some guys were on Baxter but I had Finn with me so I did not check the ice thickness and it’s going to be cold tonight so I will try tomorrow to check
    • hiwayman33
      Moose any reports?  May check Baxter or  Chisago channel tomorrow.  Was just fishing open water Missouri River two weeks ago.  We limited on walleyes two days in a row.  Ready to fish some ice. 
    • rundrave
      I bought a bunch of polka dot jigs from widow maker booth at the ice institute in Sioux Falls last weekend.  Was really nice to meet and chat with them in person.
    • timjones
      Lake pretty much locked up I think two nights ago. Haven't seen anyone out yet in the Buck Point, Battle Point, Schultz's Bay or Moon Bar area yet. Still to early I think. Haven't been over to Manthey"s Bay so don't know if anyone is venturing out there yet. That area usually locks up early. Usually there are a couple of spear houses out early in the Town Bay, Peterson's Bay, Two mile area but didn't see any out there yesterday. More often than not there is a ice heavy early in the season that stretches from Battle Point, kind of WSW across to the rushes on the west side of the lake. It pop by Battle Point yesterday morning but only went about a quarter of the way across. Looked healed up this morning.
    • eyeguy 54
      looking forward to trying the polka dots out. will be interesting to see if gills and crappies like them.
    • monstermoose78
      What colors are your go to colors?