UNDATED -- It was a mixed bag for deer hunters on the opening weekend of the firearms season.

Hunters in the northeastern region saw a 16% increase in the harvest over the first two days compared to last year. Zone 2 which covers a majority of the state was down 5% and southeastern Minnesota was down 20%.

In all, 71,724 deer were harvested on the opening weekend.

The number of bucks were down compared to last year with 57% of the deer harvested being bucks compared to 67% on the first weekend in 2016.

DNR officials say a large amount of standing corn is likely a big factor in the lower numbers. However, officials are still projecting a harvest of around 200,000 deer this year, which would be higher than last year.

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