Deer hunting season off to a slow start

Local hunters are reporting a less than stellar open to Minnesota's firearm deer season.
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The DNR says the opening weekend of the season was “not awful," but that the number of deer taken is very likely to be down.

About 400,000 Minnesotans hunters were out over the weekend, but heavy winds made it hard to score a buck. The Pioneer Press says gusts as strong as 30 mph affected both hunters and deer. Strong winds carry scents of trouble for deer and make it hard for hunters to hear through the rustling of leaves and branches.

Hunters that do bag a buck can pass their luck along to hungry Minnesotans by donating venison. Last year, hunters donated more than 550 deer to the program. That equals nearly 20,000 pounds of meat that went to state food shelves.

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Related

DNR: expect a good deer season

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says that a strong harvest and a healthy deer population should make for a robust hunting season. 500,000 hunters are expected to participate in the season that opens Nov. 5.

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.

Police investigating deer hunting in Moorhead city limits

Moorhead police are investigating a report of deer hunting within the city's limits. Witnesses say the hunters shot the deer with a rifle early Sunday and then immediately fled the area.

Windy conditions limit deer hunting success

Conservation officers across the state say wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour discouraged deer from moving, meaning fewer opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of Minnesota hunters.

At least 4 people have died since deer hunting opener

A juvenile in central Minnesota is the latest to die in a hunting-related accident, according to the Associated Press. Two others were killed after falling from deer stands, and another hunter succumbed to natural causes. Several others have been hurt from firearms or falls from deer stands.

DNR: Deer harvest down seven percent in 2011

The Department of Natural Resources says the decline is a result of a smaller deer population and a windy opening weekend of the firearms season. Minnesota deer hunters harvested 192,300 deer during the 2011 season. That's 15,000 fewer deer than in 2010. The 2012 deer hunting season begins in September.

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Start early, that's the motto of Minnesota Turkey hunters. The Star Tribune is reporting that hunters registered 1,249 birds after the first two days of the season, compared with 1,000 last year.