Minnesota Deer Opener Expected to be One of the Best Since 2010

November 03, 2017 10:54 PM

The Minnesota Deer Opener begins just before sunrise on Saturday.

According to the state's Department of Natural Resources, the opener is more like an annual holiday with nearly half a million people expected to bag a buck.


Wildlife Population and Regulations Program Manager Steve Merchant predicts the season should be one of the best for hunters because the deer herd has increased tremendously.

"We think we are going to harvest right around 200,000 deer and which will be the highest number since 2010," Merchant said. "We harvested 173,000 last year and we expect to see a significant bump from that."

According to the DNR, three consecutive mild winters and three years of tight harvest regulations combined helped Minnesota's deer population rebound.

There are new regulations for Hunter while out in the forests.

RELATED: Minnesota Deer Opener: More Deer but Mandatory CWD Testing

The bag limit for deer intensive management areas is down to three and any hunter may use a scope on their muzzleloader during the muzzleloader deer season. No permit is required.

Also this year, the DNR will collect tissue samples for chronic wasting disease testing in central, north-central and southeast counties.

"We've been fortunate that we  found it early as opposed to Wisconsin that probably had it for maybe 20 years before they even discovered it." said Steve Merchant . "It just becomes a chronic very very difficult issue."

For the first time ever in Minnesota, blaze pink can now be substituted for blaze orange.

RELATED: Wisconsin Assembly Eliminates Minimum Hunting Age

It was a controversial proposal in the legislature this past session with some lawmakers strongly against it saying it is not as safe.

However, some hunters tell KSTP they hope it will help attract younger women to the sport.

"If it gets one girl to see that you can wear blaze pink and it's cool and it's exciting then I think it will definitely prove its worth," Angie Forconi, from the Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association, said.

Deer hunting information can be found on the DNR's website. Hunters can also follow along on social media using #DeerCampMN. Questions can be directed to the DNR information center at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-296-6157 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.


Cleo Greene

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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