Living in the #BoldNorth, you often come away learning more about where you live than you would think. When family members who live elsewhere ask me why I live where it's always cold, I have just to laugh it off as they just don't get it. But there are some fascinating facts, that aren't about the weather, about Minnesota that you can pull out at any time. One of those facts that I saw recently had to do with white-tailed deer and college students.

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The Minnesota Office of Higher Education states there are about 425,000 students enrolled in post-secondary education courses in 2023, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' last number for the deer population was right around a million white-tailed deer here in Minnesota.

That puts the ratio of white-tailed deer to college students at 2.3 deer for every college student in Minnesota. (1,000,000 deer divided by 425,000 college students) Still, a surprising number when you think about it, but that number is down from around three deer per college student from data back in 2015-2019.

Image Credit: MN DNR
Image Credit: MN DNR

So far the Minnesota DNR has tallied slightly more than 40,000 deer that have been harvested so far this season, with the last update being made yesterday. (Current deer harvest numbers are generated from the DNR's electronic licensing and registration system and may contain some errors. This data does not include deer harvested during special hunts.)

I'm not sure where that number lines up with historical averages, but I didn't see too many deer in pick-up beds this weekend as I drove around the area, and I didn't see too many family and friends in Central Minnesota posting celebratory pictures on social media.

The Minnesota DNR will give some official firearms opener weekend numbers on Tuesday.

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