Gun-deer season opens Saturday in Minn.

Nearly 500,000 hunters wearing blaze orange are expected to be afield Saturday when Minnesota’s firearms deer season gets underway.

But the Department of Natural Resources says those hunters are less likely to bag a deer than in recent years. It’s expecting the lowest deer harvest in decades as wildlife managers seek to rebuild the herd. They’re limiting the take of does, in particular, to improve deer numbers in the future.

Most Minnesota hunters will be able to harvest only one deer. In much of northeastern Minnesota, where two consecutive severe winters took a toll on the population, hunters can only shoot bucks.

The DNR says the harvest could be as low as 120,000, compared with recent seasons where the kill approached 200,000 deer.

Minnesota’s wolf hunting season also opens Saturday.