Minnesota deer harvest down 12 percent

February 18, 2010 at 03:06 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Final numbers show that hunters harvested 12 percent fewer deer during Minnesota’s 2009 deer season, mostly because the state issued fewer permits for does.

The Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that hunters took 194,178 deer in 2009, compared with 221,837 in 2008.

Overall, the firearms harvest was down 13 percent from 2008. Archery was down 9 percent. The muzzleloader harvest fell 15 percent.

The lower harvest was deliberate. The DNR says it issued fewer permits for antlerless deer because the deer population had been reduced to the target levels in many areas. The buck harvest was only 1 percent lower than in 2008.

The archery season begins Sept. 18. The statewide firearms season opens Nov. 6. The muzzleloader season opens Nov. 27.