Deer harvest expected to be lowest in decades

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects this year’s deer harvest will be one of the lowest in decades. But, that’s by design.

Regulations implemented to help increase the state’s deer population will place more deer off limits to gun hunters when the firearms season opens Nov. 8.

The DNR says that because hunters can only harvest bucks in some places and fewer antlerless permits were offered, the 2014 harvest should fall significantly lower than the 170,000 taken last season.

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DNR big game program leader Leslie McInenly says the harvest could come in around 120,000, a level not seen since the early 1980s. A one-deer bag limit covers most of the state. Only seven of 129 deer permit areas and some special hunts allow the use of bonus permits.