Oh Deer

It’s getting closer. It is the Minnesota deer hunting opener. It isn’t until November but that is soon enough to start dragging out boxes of hunting gear. My rule is fishing stuff needs to be put away before hunting stuff comes out. As with all rules, I guess they were meant to be broken.


Minnesota deer facts

Deer: The animal

Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 lbs., and males weigh about 170 lbs.
The biggest white-tailed deer ever recorded in Minnesota was a 500-pound buck.
A whitetail’s home range is about one square mile.
Deer hunting

There are nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters in Minnesota.
Last year, 25 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 61 percent were antlered bucks.
70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season.
The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season.
Last year’s total deer harvest was about 140,000.
Because of a conservative 2015 season designed to boost the statewide population, total deer harvest in 2015 is again anticipated to be relatively low. The DNR is projecting total harvest to come in around 140,000 to 155,000 deer.
Hunters can register their deer via Internet, phone or at walk-in big-game registration stations.
The largest typical whitetail buck ever taken in Minnesota had a Boone & Crockett score of 202, shot by John Breen in 1918 near Funkley.
Minnesota’s No. 1 non-typical whitetail buck had 43 points, shot by 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch in 1974.
Deer licenses

In total, about 628,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2014.
96 percent of Minnesota deer licenses are sold to state residents.
The DNR Information Center remained open 3 1/2 hours later on the day before last year’s deer opener to answer more than 1,400 telephone inquiries, most of them related to the firearms opener.
Hunting economics*

All hunting-related expenditures in Minnesota totaled $725 million.
Trip-related expenses such as food and lodging, transportation were $235 million.
Hunters spent $400 million on equipment.
Hunters spent $90 million on other items such as magazines, membership dues, licenses, permits, land leasing and ownership.
* From the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (www.census.gov/prod/www/fishing.html).

Top 10 big-game hunting violations

Hunting over bait.
Transporting uncased or loaded firearm.
Failing to register the animal.
Failing to validate tag.
Lending, borrowing, transferring or altering a license.
Untagged animal.
License not in possession.
No valid license.
Insufficient blaze orange.

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