Minnesota firearms deer season opens Saturday

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota firearms deer season is set to open on Saturday.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) says approximately 400,000 hunters will participate in deer firearms season.

Overall deer populations are strong throughout southern and central Minnesota, according to the MnDNR.

“So many of our hunters will encounter good opportunities to harvest deer this fall. Deer populations throughout much of the state are faring well, particularly in southern and central Minnesota, and parts of northwestern Minnesota, and we do have ample opportunities for hunters to harvest more than one deer in many of these areas – 50% of our 130 deer permit areas do offer the opportunity to harvest more than one deer,” said Barb Keller, the big game program leader for the MnDNR.

The MnDNR says there are good opportunities to harvest deer in most areas, and that hunters need to know the boundaries of the deer permit areas and any chronic wasting disease (CWD) regulations that apply where they hunt.

CWD sampling is mandatory for all deer one year and older that are harvested on the opening weekend.

The MnDNR also urges safety when it comes to hunting. The number of hunting-related firearms fatalities has dropped significantly over the past 60 years — largely due to safety training requirements for young and new hunters.

“There’s a lot at stake every time hunters head into the field,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division. “Safe hunts don’t just happen by chance — they happen when hunters make keeping themselves and others safe the top priority.”

Some safety tips to follow:

  • Brush up on the key tenets of safe firearms handling before hitting the field.
  • Wear blaze clothing to ensure visibility to other hunters.
  • Inspect tree stand safety harnesses thoroughly and use them when in the stand and when climbing in and out.
  • Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
  • Always control the muzzle.
  • Be sure of the target and what’s beyond it.
  • Only put your finger on the trigger when ready to shoot.

For more information on clothing requirements, CLICK HERE.

For more information on CWD management, CLICK HERE.

For general information about deer hunting season, CLICK HERE.