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Deer opener: More deer but fewer kills

Minnesota's 500,000 deer hunters are expected to see a fair number of deer this season after a mild winter, but the state has issued fewer permits this year in an effort to strengthen herd numbers. The season opens 30 minutes before sunrise on Saturday.
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Minnesota's 500,000 deer hunters are expected to see a fair number of deer this season after a mild winter, but the state has issued fewer antlerless permits this year, in an effort to strengthen herd numbers, the Star Tribune reports. The season opens 30 minutes before sunrise on Saturday.

The harvest could be as low as 170,000 this year, a DNR manager told the newspaper. That would be the smallest harvest since 1998.

Minnesota hunters shot 192,331 deer last year, including archery and muzzleloader seasons, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

Hunters in Minnesota likely will miss the peak of the rut, or mating season, this year, the Duluth News Tribune reports. That's significant because bucks are less cautious and easier to hunt as they chase does.

The DNR will continue checking deer in part of northwestern Minnesota for bovine tuberculosis, the Duluth News Tribune reports. The disease last turned up in a wild deer in that area in 2009, the newspaper says. The DNR is also continuing mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease in part of southeastern Minnesota.

Here's more info from the DNR on the Minnesota deer season.

North Dakota also lowered the number of licenses it issued, the Grand Forks Herald reports. North Dakota’s 16-day deer gun season opens at noon Nov. 9.

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Hunters in Minnesota are expected to see more deer than last year after the mild winter and early spring, but fewer hunters have antlerless deer tags this fall, the Duluth News Tribune reports. This is because the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is trying to conserve the number of does this year. “We’re going to see more deer and kill less deer,” Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association based in Grand Rapids, told the newspaper.