Deer kill down statewide
Firearms deer hunters are registering fewer deer this year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota hunters harvested 128,814 deer through the second weekend of the season, down 6 percent from 2012, according to preliminary numbers announced Wednesday.
The season ended Sunday for all but 100-series permit areas in the northeastern part of the state, where the season concludes on Sunday, and the 3B firearm season in southeastern Minnesota that is Saturday through Dec. 1.
Overall, antlered buck harvest is down 7 percent and antlerless harvest is down 5 percent.
That surprised the DNR, especially the fewer bucks, according to Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. Apparently wind and rain had an effect on hunter success, she said.
Much of the change in statewide antlerless harvest can be attributed to decreased harvest in the northeastern portion of the state, where antlerless harvest is currently down 25 percent, she said. That area had a long, hard winter that hurt winter survival and led to fewer fawns this year. Because of that, the DNR reduced either-sex permits in many permit areas.
Conservation officer reports throughout the state reflected the situation with many comments on hunters seeing fewer deer.
That includes much of this region.
"Numerous deer hunters were encountered over the weekend with many of them commenting on the lack of deer activity," said Tyler Quandt of Red Wing.
Tom Hemker in Winona also noted slower hunting, both in number of deer seen and complaints such as trespass and shooting from roadways.
But Mitch Boyum said the Rushford area had a busy season and success was good.
As for duck hunting, things slowed down later last week when many ponds and Mississippi River backwaters iced up. When weather warmed, some hunters got in some shooting.
Deer, road trip, deer:Mark Schluttner of rural Oronoco was able to achieve a life's goal last Saturday — he bagged a deer with a shotgun on his land and then went to his land in Wadena County and got one with a rifle.
The two properties are 225 miles apart.
National crappie tournament winner:Tommy Skarlis of Iowa, who is sponsored in part by Al's Specialty Marine of Rochester, partnered with Kyle Steinfeldt, also of Iowa, to win the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters National Champions last September in Mississippi.
The two used walleye trolling techniques including planer boards to bring in limits of seven crappies both days. They had 13.13 pounds the first day and 14.7 pounds the second to win.