A quick check on deer
Another firearms deer season is in the bag. My little group had a pretty darn good year, but that, of course, is a small sample size. Statewide, the numbers show a deer season that was – from a harvest perspective, anyway – a little worse than last year.
Firearms hunters last year killed about 174,000 deer. This year's take of about 162,000 is 7 percent lower.
Much of that, judging by DNR harvest figures, can be attributed to the number of adult bucks hunters shot. Last year, they killed about 87,800. This year, they killed about 75,600. The number of does and fawns they shot were pretty similar.
Watch for harvest breakdowns by permit area in upcoming blogs.
I wasn't able to get detailed harvest numbers for the muzzleloader season earlier this week, but anecdotal reports indicate the harvest is lagging behind last year. But the third weekend tends to be the most fruitful anyway, and with snow on the ground and cold temperatures in the forecast, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. (The muzzleloader season ends Dec. 11.)
Still nothing to report on the chronic wasting disease front, which is good news. The DNR has sampled more than 2,300 deer from southeastern Minnesota this fall, and none to date have tested positive for the disease.