REGIONAL—Chilly temperatures over the second week of the firearms deer season didn’t seem to discourage hunters, as they made up a little lost ground from the slower-than-expected opening …
REGIONAL—Chilly temperatures over the second week of the firearms deer season didn’t seem to discourage hunters, as they made up a little lost ground from the slower-than-expected opening weekend.
Across Zone 100, which encompasses northeastern Minnesota, the 2018 harvest was still down, by 17.7 percent over last year. But that reflects modest improvement over the first weekend, when deer registrations were off by 21 percent.
Locally, in the DNR Tower work area, the total harvest is down four percent, with buck registrations running 1.5 percent below last year. “Hunters reported a mixed bag of deer activity,” said Tower DNR Area Wildlife Manager. “Buck activity improved over the second weekend with some hunters reporting bucks chasing does and breeding pairs. Other hunters reported minimal deer activity with most of it occurring at night.”
The Nov. 3 start to the deer season this year may have limited deer activity for the first few days of the season. According to Rusch, peak rutting activity generally occurs between Nov. 7 and 11 in the local area.
Weather has generally been ideal for hunting most days, according to Rusch. The area has had 2-4 inches of snow on the ground for most the season, which has improved hunters’ ability to spot deer in the woods and has aided in tracking deer.
“Temperatures have been below average but also conducive to deer movement,” said Rusch. “This may have reduced time on the stand for some hunters.”
As hunters head into the final weekend of the season, Rusch said they should expect continued strong deer movement. “With lower hunting pressure and rutting activity continuing into the last weekend, hunting should be good for those still in the woods,” he said.
Hunters can expect seasonably chilly temperatures, with lows in the single digits and highs in the mid-to-upper teens over the weekend.