Minn. deer harvest declines in 2011 19 Jan 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The state Department of Natural Resources says Minnesota’s deer harvest declined 7 percent in 2011.

The DNR cites lower deer populations and a windy first weekend of the firearms season.

Minnesota hunters harvested 192,300 deer during the 2011 season. That’s a drop of 15,000 from the 207,000 deer harvested in 2010.

In 2011, firearms hunters harvested 164,800 deer. Archery hunters harvested 20,200 deer while muzzleloader hunters took 7,300 deer.

DNR wildlife research manager Lou Cornicelli (kohr-nuh-SEHL’-ee) notes that up to 50 percent of the annual deer harvest happens during opening weekend. He says the high winds during opening weekend cut into deer activity and the harvest.

Hunting regulations designed to bring deer populations to goal levels, combined with a harsh winter in 2010, meant lower deer densities in many areas.

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