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Forum News Service, Published November 13 2013

Minnesota deer kill down 8 percent from last year

Minnesota’s deer kill after the first three days of the season was down 8 percent from last year, the Department of Natural Resources reported Wednesday.

According to the DNR, hunters shot 77,008 deer during the first three days of the firearms season. Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader, said the slightly smaller harvest during the first three days wasn’t surprising.

“Last year, opening weekend weather was almost ideal, and the state’s corn harvest was virtually complete,” she said. “So given Saturday’s roaring winds of up to 30 miles per hour, which tends to restrict deer movement, and more available deer refuge areas due to pockets of standing corn, the harvest is about what you’d expect.”

The DNR had sold 445,385 firearms deer licenses as of Monday, about 1,000 fewer than last year but roughly 10,000 more than 2011.

The harvest was down 19 percent in the northeast, 4 percent in the southeast and 6 percent for the remainder of the state. Because hunters have 48 hours to register a harvested deer, final opening weekend numbers for 2013 will be greater than those reported Wednesday.

The firearms season continues through Sunday for all but northeast Minnesota, which extends until Nov. 24.