If you think this year is unseasonably warm for Minnesota's firearms hunting opener, you're correct. How odd is this? Let's look over the years to see exactly.

It's going to be a high temp of 66 degrees on Saturday (11/5/16), which is the highest temp for firearms hunting opener in at least 16 years. In 2011 we hit 60 degrees, and also 2009 where it was 62 degrees. There's been little to no snow since 2003. This has made deer hunting extremely difficult for the last couple decades!

Hunting opener temps since 2002

If the chart is hard to understand, here's a simple list of the temps over the firearms opener since 2002.

Hunting opener temps list

The ultimate scenario would be temps in the upper 20's to lower 30's, with plenty of fresh snow on the ground. The snow specifically helps to see deer tracks as well as where other hunters have been more frequently.

Thankfully in the 2016 deer hunting season there are many more deer than in past years, thanks to herd growth. Because of this the DNR has eased some restrictions for deer. There are 9 fewer zones in Minnesota where bucks can only be hunted compared to 2015.

More information on these zones, including rules and regulations can be found on the DNR's website.