DNR: Number of Minnesota deer hunters down, but violations up

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the number of deer hunters statewide over the weekend was down in comparison to 2012, KEYC-TV reports.

In the Mankato area, DNR Conservation Officer Chris Howe says the wind was likely a factor in the lower turnout.

In total, about 500,000 Minnesotans harvested about 186,000 deer across the state last year, the DNR says.

Despite the lower number of hunters over the weekend, there was an increase in various infractions in comparison to other years, Howe says.

Howe told KEYC that in the Mankato area, hunters were most often cited for deer-baiting.

According to The Associated Press, DNR officers issued 166 citations and 49 warnings for deer-baiting during the 2012 deer hunting seasons, and confiscated 135 firearms and bows.

The DNR says the numbers marked the most deer-baiting infractions since the agency started tracking them in 1991.

Penalties for deer-baiting include the loss of firearm and hunting privileges, and a fine of up to $1,000.

The first season deer hunt for firearms in the state ends Sunday. The late season hunt for firearms gets underway Nov. 23 and ends Dec. 1.

Hunters can learn more about Minnesota's deer hunting seasons, as well as rules and regulations, at the DNR website.

KEYC - Mankato News, Weather, Sports -

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