Minnesota’s deer hunting season officially begins on Saturday, November 6, half an hour before sunrise. Locally, it looks like the sun should rise at 8:10 am, so you’ll want to be in that booth well before 7:40 am. earlier on the second day of your hunt or your buddies won’t let you forget it.
MNR wildlife managers in our forest corner of central Minnesota say deer numbers are “robust” and the odds of success are “very good.” Many permit areas allow a hunter to harvest up to three deer, one with your regular permit and two bonus permits. There are also a few deer license areas in central Minnesota that were open at the start of the antlerless season only from Thursday October 21 through Sunday October 24. This included zones 213, 214, 215, 221 and 604 here in our Region. This includes areas from St. Cloud to Fergus Falls north of Interstate 94; and 604 encompasses an area north of Brainerd.
So far, with bow hunting, youth and the onset of the antlerless season, hunters have captured approximately 1,000 deer in each of the neighboring permit areas with these hunts.
DEER HARVEST: Follow the deer hunters harvest here.
Based on population estimates, which place the herd above the target for our region, hunters should experience similar success to last year. In 2020, about a third of nearly 600,000 licenses were completed. There were 197,315 deer registered that year.
In our region in particular, hunters collected the most skins. The 200 series permit areas had 89,717 deer and hunters had a 35% success rate.
Ranked # 1 in success rates was Zone 214 which includes parts of Wadena, Todd and Morrison counties. It was here that hunters took an average of four dollars per square mile and nearly six antlers per square mile. That’s about 10 deer per square mile, but the area remains heavily harvested. It really is a deer factory. And that’s good news for those who hunt them.
And just across Highway 10, which encompasses much of Wadena County, is Area 241, which recorded the highest deer harvest of any permit area in 2020 with 8,271 deer harvested, and most of them were males. Area 241 ranks 3rd for deer per square mile. Area 646 hunters ranked second with nine deer per square mile.
Much of our region has benefited from a not-so-harsh winter. This spring and summer have seen drought conditions, but vegetation has rebounded considerably from consistent rains this fall. And there was no shortage of snack crops in much of central Minnesota, much of it was even irrigated.
Speaking of these crops, the crop harvest continues to be a few weeks ahead of normal in the central region and it is expected that the majority of the crops will be harvested by the start of the deer season. fire. The soybeans have been harvested for weeks already and the corn fields are shrinking rapidly. This means that deer can take new routes to continue to find food sources.
Wildlife managers in central Minnesota are urging deer hunters to take advantage of additional licenses to harvest antlerless deer to help manage deer populations.
As if the outlook weren’t good enough for hunters heading for the woods, the weather should also be quite pleasant with highs in the 50s and mostly sunny skies. The wind should be light and from the west. The lows will barely reach freezing, with Sunday posting a low of 32 degrees, according to the National Weather Service of Grand Forks.
Send us your deer photos
The Pioneer Journal will re-publish photos of you and your deer in the next issue. Please email your photos to [email protected] or drop them off with us at 320 Jefferson Street South Wadena. Include the names of the people photographed and where they are from. Add other good details, like if it’s the first hunt, the first deer, its size, distance, or even who escaped.