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Minnesota hunters expected to see more deer, harvest less this year

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.
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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. Minnesota's deer season starts Saturday, Nov. 6 and runs through Nov. 18.

Meanwhile, the controversial wolf hunt in Minnesota will also take place during the firearms deer season. The DNR issued 3,600 wolf-hunting permits through a lottery this year, but officials believe hunters and trappers will fall short of the combined quota of 400 wolves. DNR wolf specialist Dan Stark of Grand Rapid told the Star Tribune, "My guess is that about 70 wolves will be taken during deer season."

Roughly 600 wolf licenses weren’t claimed by lottery winners in Minnesota, so they’ll available on a first-come, first-served basis starting Monday.

Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected an effort by two wildlife groups to block the state’s first wolf hunting season in 40 year.

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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 permits this year in an effort to strengthen herd numbers. The season opens 30 minutes before sunrise on Saturday.

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Three days into the season, hunters in the northern wolf-hunting zones had taken over 60 wolves as of Monday, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Research biologist for the DNR, John Erb, tells the newspaper that about 1 percent of hunters have been successful. In western states in the past, hunting success have been less than 1 percent.