102,000 deer registered in by Minn. hunters

Minnesota hunters have registered 102,000 deer through the second weekend of the main firearms deer season.

The Department of Natural Resources says that’s down 31,000 through the same period last year. Adding in special hunts and archery, the DNR says the total harvest so far this season is 115,000 deer, down 32,500 from the same point last season.

Leslie McInenly, the DNR’s big game program leader, says this year’s lower harvest is by design. Tighter regulations are in place to help rebuild Minnesota’s deer population, mainly by restricting the harvest of does.

The main firearms deer season ended Sunday in most of Minnesota. The muzzleloader season opens Nov. 29, however, and the archery season runs through Dec. 31.