Duluth bow hunters on hot pace this fall

Bow hunters in Duluth’s city deer hunt have taken a total of 210 deer so far this fall, well ahead of the pace of the past two years, said Brian Borkholder, who keeps statistics for the Duluth Bowhunters Alliance.

The season, now in its fifth week, opened Sept. 18. Last year, a total of 586 deer were taken in the hunt.

This year’s harvest is about 100 ahead of last year’s at the same time and 70 ahead of the 2008 harvest at the same week.

Of the total, 136 are adult does, 66 are fawns (both buck and doe) and eight are bucks. Hunters must take at least one antlerless deer in the hunt before shooting a buck.

“We’ve had fantastic weather. It’s kept people out for a long time in the stand,” said Phillip Lockett, president of the Arrowhead Bowhunters Alliance. “In previous years, we’ve started with windy and cold weather. I think that’s a large part of (the increase).”

Also, a total of 339 hunters registered for the hunt, more than in any of the previous five years of the hunt, Lockett said.

“We’re also doing better in our hotspots earlier on,” Lockett said.  “Last year, we didn’t get the hotspots going until Nov. 1, so there’s lots of additional harvest there.”

Hotspots are specialized hunts in small areas where a number of deer are congregated. They’re often in residential neighborhoods, and the ABA must get permission from all nearby residents before initiating a hotspot hunt.

The city hunt, like the regular statewide bow hunt, continues through Dec. 31.

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