Minnesota deer hunters prepare for opening weekend of state’s gun season

Minnesota’s firearm deer hunting season opener starts this weekend, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates more than 400,000 hunters will be in the woods Saturday morning.

Before then, hunters will be stocking up on some essentials, including the blaze orange clothing.

Fleet Farm is holding an “Orange Friday” event ahead of the opener to help hunters prepare.

The Hastings store opened early, and the first 500 customers received free orange hats.

DNR officials also remind hunters that falls are one of the number one ways hunters get hurt during deer season and add it’s important to wear a safety harness when you’re in a tree stand.

There are also a few changes this year – if you’re hunting deer without antlers, the bag limit has dropped from five deer to three.

Chronic Wasting Disease—known as CWD and is a fatal condition that spreads between herds—is also bringing a new change this year. There will now be mandatory disease testing and carcass movement restrictions in several hunting areas.

The Minnesota DNR says this season is still looking good for hunters.

“So many of our hunters will encounter good opportunities to harvest deer this fall. Deer populations throughout much of the state are faring well, particularly in southern and central Minnesota, and parts of northwestern Minnesota, and we do have ample opportunities for hunters to harvest more than one deer in many of these areas – 50% of our 130 deer permit areas do offer the opportunity to harvest more than one deer,” said Barb Keller, the big game program leader for the DNR.

If you’re looking for additional information about this year’s gun deer season, CLICK HERE.

KSTP’s complete hunting season guide