The firearms deer hunting season started last Saturday.  According to the Minnesota DNR deer harvested numbers are down 23% compared to opening weekend last year.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says about 69,000 deer were registered through Monday of this week.  The northwest part of the state saw the biggest decline in deer harvested with 32% less, northeast was down 24%, the central and southeastern portions of the state were down 18% and the southwest was down 15%.

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Schmitt explained the reason for the decline is a combination of things. He says deer hunting licenses were down just 2% from last year, it rained in part of the state and it was very windy on Sunday.  Schmitt says others may be holding out for bigger bucks.  He thinks there will be a lot of deer shot this weekend by people who passed on deer last weekend.  Schmitt indicates the deer population in Central Minnesota is good. He expects numbers to pick up this weekend with snow in the northern portion of the state making it easier to hunt.

Last year during the firearms deer season 136,000 deer were shot in Minnesota.

Schmitt expects it to be a good weekend for duck and goose hunting with the weather in Minnesota and the Dakotas.  He expects ducks to be moving into this area with the colder weather coming.  Duck hunting continues in the central and south zones through November 27th and north zone through November 22.  Goose hunting continues through December 28th in the central and south zones and through December 23 in the north zone.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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