Firearms Deer Harvest Falls Well Below Expectations
Detroit Lakes, MN — Expectations were high coming into this year’s firearms deer season in the state of Minnesota. Deer population estimates were healthy, conditions were dry, the fields were harvested, and the rut was on. However according to current totals, the Minnesota DNR is going to fall well short of its goal of harvesting 200,000 deer. Coming into the muzzleloader opener, 163,000 deer had been registered, which is down about 20% from 2020, according to Detroit Lakes Area Wildlife Supervisor Rob Baden.
More specifically, permit area 262 saw a decrease of 23% over last year, 265 was down 13%, 266 was down 18%, and 297 decreased by 26%. Baden isn’t positive as to what contributed to such as decrease, but a couple potential factors include the weather and hunters being more picky about what they shoot.
Despite harvest being down again this year, Baden says that’s not a reflection on the overall deer population.
Of all the deer taken across the state, 56% were adult bucks, 30% were adult does, 7% were young bucks, and 5% were young does.
If you did not harvest a deer this year, there are still opportunities. The Muzzleloader season began this weekend and the DNR will be hosting a late season intensive CWD hunt on December 17th – 19th and December 31st through January 2nd in permit areas 261 and 262.