DNR: Preliminary Deer Registrations Up 13 Percent

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 128,174 deer through the third weekend of firearms deer season, up from 112,715 from the same period in 2014, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

So far this fall, hunters have registered 145,383 deer, up from the 2014 same-date harvest of 128,134, DNR officials said. That total includes the archery, early antlerless and firearms seasons, plus special hunts.

Preliminary numbers show that the number of deer registered has increased 13.5 percent from 2014.

Buck harvest during the firearms season was up 18.4 percent from last year, indicating that the population has grown from its low point two springs ago, DNR wildlife officials said.

The Zone 1 (including Northeastern Minnesota) total firearms harvest was up 11 percent. Zone 2 was up 15.5 percent, and Zone 3 was up 7.7 percent. Buck harvest was up significantly in all zones.

Going into the season, the DNR had projected the 2015 total deer harvest to be between 140,000 to 155,000 deer. The 2014 total harvest after last year’s conservative season was just over 139,000.

The Zone 1 firearms deer season ended Sunday. The muzzleloader season begins Saturday and will continue through Dec. 13. The archery season continues through Dec. 31.

3 Responses

  1. Jim Love

    The deer harvest in north Central Mn. has been so bleak in the last few years it does not take much of increase to change the percentage, the wolf population does seem to be down some, not because of hunting but rather they ate themselves out house and home and moved on.

    1. Kevin

      Totally agree with Jim Love. We used to hear so many shots nearby opening morning now it’s a rarity to hear anything. Didn’t see one buck in 3 weeks of hunting south of Mille Lacs Lake. That area has been so mismanaged (DNR used to allow 5 deer per person) and the wolf problem has made a terrible situation worse. I don’t know if I’ll even hunt next year.

  2. dale

    The 11 % increase in zone 1 is a start in the right direction,but from being down like 70% in the last two years it is a ways to go.

    A 11% increase in zone 1 means about 3000 additional deer killed for about 200,000 hunters so hunter success was up only 1.5% overall.

    After the 2011-13 and 2013-14 there is very few older does to breed at present. We need mild winters and conservative seasons ahead.

    Population estimates have to be revisited and population goals are set at extremely low levels which are way below the average populations these areas had since 1978.
    Some areas deer population goal high are set at levels we seen after the extreme winters of 1995-6 and 97 when populations bottomed. That is what they want fro highs.
    I know many Area Wildlife managers disagree with St.Pauls decision.

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