Almost 120,000 deer bagged by hunters, but baiting is on the rise


It proved another fruitful weekend for deer hunters as the firearms season came to a close across much of Minnesota, with almost 120,000 deer bagged through the second weekend.

The DNR says that 118,599 deer had been registered by the end of the second weekend of firearms deer season, a significant rise on the 104,785 in the same period in 2014.

The season is now over for most of the state, but hunts will continue in the northern rifle zone until this Sunday. The late southeastern season runs between Nov. 21-29, and the two-week muzzleloader season starts on Nov. 28.

By the end of these seasons, the DNR expects between 140,000 and 150,000 deer will have been registered.

This number is still lower than many recent years, as stricter kill limits are still in place. It's part of the DNR's conservation effort that it says is already bearing fruit, with hunters said to be seeing more deer – albeit ones they can't shoot.

The DNR also says the buck harvest is up 18 percent in the first 10 days of firearms season compared to last year, indicating the buck population has grown from its "low point two springs ago."

While it's proving a better season for hunters, not all of them are acting in a sportsmanlike fashion after they put on the blaze orange.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the DNR had issued 140 citations and 42 warnings to hunters for baiting as of this past Thursday, well ahead of the 147 violations it issues on average every year.

Deer baiting, in which hunters place corn, apples, pumpkins and other food near deer stands to attract the animals, has been illegal in Minnesota since 1991, the newspaper notes, but is the top violation among big game hunters in the state.

“Philosophically, I think it’s an instant-gratification thing," DNR regional enforcement supervisor Tom Provost told the newspaper. "I think people are wanting to get two weeks of hunting into two days and up their odds."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Staying home: Gopher football lands 6'7'' football recruit

The offensive lineman is a star player in southwest Minnesota.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.

Judge Peter Cahill - March 8

Chauvin trial: Jury pool sent home as court awaits appeals court guidance

Judge Cahill rejected the prosecution's motion to delay the start of jury selection, but it was delayed Monday anyway.