Deer harvest numbers are down overall throughout the state but Central Minnesota is an exception to that.  The muzzleloader season continues through Sunday (December 10) and the archery season continues through December 31.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says through last Thursday the DNR indicates there have been 145,814 deer registered.  Last season there was a total of 172,300 deer harvested in Minnesota.  Schmitt says, based on that information totals this year will be down compared to last year.  He says the DNR believes 85% of the total deer harvested have been accounted for.  Schmitt projects this year's totals will be at approximately 167,000.

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photo - courtesy of Glen Schmitt
photo - courtesy of Glen Schmitt

Schmitt indicates the northern part of the state saw the biggest decline is deer harvested.  He says Central Minnesota saw one of the highest harvest totals in the state.  Schmitt says permit numbers in Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Meeker and Wright Counties represent the high number of deer in Central Minnesota.  Northern Minnesota's 15% drop in deer harvest numbers could be attributed to wolves.  Schmitt says many people who live in northern Minnesota believe wolves are taking deer in high numbers.  He says another reason for low harvest numbers in northern Minnesota has to do with back to back cold, snowy winters.  Schmitt believes the gray wolf population in the state has do be addressed at some point.

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



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