Minnesota hunters will take fewer deer this year, by design

Author:
Updated:
Original:

In an effort to rebuild the deer population in Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources has put regulations in place for this year's firearms hunting season which will dramatically reduce the number of animals that hunters can take.

The deer harvest could be as low as 120,000 this year, compared to last year's number of 170,000, according to a DNR news release.

“By design, this year’s deer harvest will be one of the lowest we’ve seen in decades,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader.

McInenly said the number of deer in Minnesota's woods is down because of harsh weather the past few winters, as well as more liberal hunting regulations which led to harvest numbers above 200,000 in some years, MPR News reports.

Last winter the DNR even approved spending $170,000 to feed whitetail deer in northeastern Minnesota who couldn't forage because of the deep snow, a highly unusual move.

Hunters have expressed their concerns about lower deer numbers as well, the DNR said, so they instituted the restrictions in hopes of seeing a rebound a few years down the road. The gun deer season in Minnesota begins Nov. 8.

So what's new this year? Here are the main points:

– A one deer per hunter limit in 95 percent of the state.

– In 69 of Minnesota's 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer.

– In 14 areas, hunters can only take bucks

The greatest impact will be in the northeast, the region hardest hit by severe winter weather the past two years, where most of the area will be buck only. A breakdown of the rules for each permit area is here, and on the map below.

Next Up

Andrelton Simmons / Minnesota Twins

Twins sign Andrelton Simmons to one-year deal

The former Angels shortstop is a four-time Gold Glove winner.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

police lights

2 people charged in separate Minneapolis homicides that happened hours apart

A woman is accused of stabbing a man in the chest over $60, while a man is accused of accidentally shooting a victim on the man's birthday.

House for sale

Despite pandemic, Twin Cities housing market set records in 2020

Sales were up 7.7% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Target store inside

Target unveils 'limited-edition' home, lifestyle collection with Levi Strauss

The new collection will be available in some stores and everyone online Feb. 28.

Tim Walz

Walz's $52.4 billion budget increases school spending, raises taxes on wealthy

He says the budget will help level the playing field and ensure all Minnesotans have a fair shot at economic recovery,

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 12.55.00 PM

Pictures from Minnesota GOP's Deadwood retreat show no masks, no distancing

The pictures were shared in Chair Jennifer Carnahan's latest email newsletter.

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.

Related