Deer harvest down 7% from a year ago, DNR says

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that hunters harvested about 170,000 deer during the 2022 season, a bit less than in recent years.

The total harvest was down 7% compared to the 2021 season and 10% less than the five-year state average.

“Lower deer numbers in northern Minnesota and poor weather during opening weekend in some parts of the state likely contributed to lower firearms season harvest,” said DNR Big Game Program Leader Barb Keller. “Hunters struggled with rain and wind in some parts of the state during early November, but weather was better during later seasons including firearms B and muzzleloader seasons.”

The number of deer harvested during muzzleloader season was the highest reported since 2007 and was 10% higher than the 2021 season harvest.

There were 87,625 male adult deer harvest and 58,877 female adults. In addition, 13,306 male juvenile deer were harvested and 10,741 female juveniles, according to preliminary results.

Archery season harvest was about 1% lower than the 2021 season. Most archery season harvest occurred prior to the firearms season and peaked in late October and early November.

Deer Permit Area 290, northwest of New Ulm on both sides of the Minnesota River had 1,171 deer harvested. That compares to 626 deer harvested in Deer Permit Area 288, around Marshall.

Analysis of the 2022 deer harvest continues. A final deer harvest report will be available in March.

Past season harvest reports are available on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/mammals/deer/management/statistics.html).

The DNR will offer walk-in office hours at area wildlife offices across the state, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, March 2.

Local wildlife managers will be available to talk one-on-one with anyone about deer and other wildlife, hunting and habitat topics, specific topics that the DNR deer advisory committee should be aware of, or thoughts and feedback about deer population management.

Those unable to attend office hours in-person will be able to share their thoughts on an online questionnaire (mndnr/gov/wildlife/talk-about-wildlife.html) available March 2.

Written comments may be submitted to Barb Keller, Fish and Wildlife Division, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155. Comments will help inform season-setting decisions this spring for the 2023 fall deer hunting season.


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