Skip to main content

Deerly departed: Hunters bag 30,000 fewer deer in opening weekend

  • Author:
  • Updated:

State officials warned this year's deer harvest would be down, and they weren't wrong.

Hunters bagged 54,000 deer in the first three days of this year's firearms deer season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is 30,000 less than in 2013.

This represents a 34 percent drop in the last 12 months, but some areas suffered more than others, with the Duluth News Tribune reporting that the harvest fell 51 percent in Northeastern Minnesota.

When taking into account special hunts and the archery season, the total deer harvest stands at 67,000, the Star Tribune notes, compared to 100,000 in 2013.

The DNR had expected – and planned for – this year's deer numbers to drop, as a result of the combined impact of last winter's frigid weather and a bumper harvest in the 2013 season. It's resulted in stricter controls on the number of deer hunters are allowed to kill, a move made in order to boost the animal's numbers.

"Comparing this year to harvests in previous years doesn't necessarily reflect hunter opportunity or the number of deer on the landscape in 2014," the DNR's Leslie McInenly told the Pioneer Press.

"This year's lower harvest is by design because regulations were implemented to place more deer – particularly does – off limits to increase Minnesota's deer population."

Next Up


Motorcyclist killed on I-494 crash in Richfield

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified the victim as a 42-year-old Shakopee man.


Gallery: This Seward Neighborhood gem SOLD fast!

Classic 1903 home came with modern updates

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Evacuations underway after explosion, fire on U of M campus

Evacuations are in effect on campus after an underground explosion and fire Thursday afternoon.

hopkins high school

‘Terrible prank’ during tornado drill causes scare at Hopkins High School

The school principal said the incident brought armed police to the school and "understandably caused some scholars anxiety."

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Woman admits to role in St. Paul man's gruesome murder

A 32-year-old Duluth woman has taken a plea deal in the case of a 34-year-old St. Paul man's murder.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

'Living nightmare’ alleged at Savage, Minn. rabbit sanctuary

"Peacebunny Cottage" is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation.


Tractor tips on embankment, killing man in Kandiyohi County

The tractor reportedly tipped and fell on top of the man, pinning him underneath.

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin teams with Mike Golic Jr. for college football broadcasts

Martin, 33, lives in Minnesota and continues to climb the sports broadcasting ladder.

Melvin Carter

St. Paul plans to extend $500 payments to low-income families

The expansion would give more than 300 families a monthly payment of $500.

16362 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, Minnesota - October 2021 (4)

Use of car seat in crash that killed child still under investigation

The mother of the child was treated for injuries not considered to be life-threatening.