Deer harvest surpasses last year's total
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 year during special hunts and the archery, early antlerless and firearms seasons, hunters have harvested 145,383 deer, up from the 2014 to-date harvest total of 128,134. Preliminary numbers show that the number of deer registered rose 13.5 percent from 2014.
The 2014 total harvest after last year's conservative season was just over 139,000.
Buck harvest during the firearms season was up 18.4 percent from last year, indicating that the population has in fact grown from its low point two springs ago. Zone 1 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.
In much of Minnesota, the last day of the firearms deer season was Nov. 15. The northern rifle zone season continued through Nov. 22. Additional deer will be harvested during the late southeastern season, which runs Saturday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 29; the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 28, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 13; and the archery season, which runs through Thursday, Dec. 31.
Final numbers from all deer seasons will be available in January.