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Joined 03/27/2006

CrappieKeith's blogs, pictures and recent posts
Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 01:05 PM 10/11/06 (CST)
Heres a way to get some venison early.After reading the article ,I came away with there are too many anterless deer around.For a few dollars a guy could put hundreds of dollars worth of prime meat in the freezer.
Two-day firearms deer hunt set for Oct.14-15

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 2:17 PM EDT

By Joe Albert Staff Writer

St. Paul — For the second consecutive year, hunters don’t have to wait until November to target deer with a gun.

For one weekend this month - Oct. 14 and 15 - whitetails are fair game for gun hunters in five northwest and three north metro permit areas.

“It knocked down some deer (last year),” said Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. “It gives people another alternative. If you can’t hunt during the later season, you’ve got an early season now.”

During the state’s first early antlerless season last year, about 5,700 hunters killed 1,600 deer, despite a weekend more befitting summer than fall. The season is available in the same permit areas this fall: 209, 210, 225, 227, 236, 252, 256, and 257.

The early season is part of a larger research project aimed at reducing deer densities in some parts of the state by increasing the harvest of antlerless deer. Though he hadn’t seen sales tallies for early season licenses, Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator, expected participation to be at least what it was last fall, and possibly more if the weekend isn’t hot and wet, like last year.

“We’re trying to encourage people to get out and shoot a deer early,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for people to get out and kill that first deer.”

The permit necessary to hunt during the antlerless season, at $6.50 (plus a $1 issuing fee), is one-quarter the cost of a regular firearms license.

Hunters also need to have a license that is valid in Zone 2. Those include a multi-zone buck, all-season deer, muzzleloader, or a Zone 2 license.

Hunters can shoot up to two deer, and must tag them with the early antlerless permits, which only are valid Oct. 14 and 15.

“We want to find out what kind of focused effort is occurring with this season,” Cornicelli said. “That’s why we want people to buy a permit that’s just good for this season.”

While the state’s deer herd is estimated at about 1.3 million animals, Cornicelli isn’t sure what harvest this fall will be. Both he and Johnson were members of groups that hunted, and were successful, during last year’s early season.

Warm weather meant the deer didn’t move much. Plus, they’re not into their normal November patterns during the early season.

“You didn’t see the groups of deer moving around,” Johnson said. “You had singles moving here and there, and does and fawns.”

The warm weather also means hunters need to have a plan for quickly removing the deer they take from the field.

“The tough thing is you have to rethink it all and plan ahead because it‘s warm weather,” Johnson said. “You have to get that deer taken care of right away or it will spoil on you.”

Late season?

Some MDHA members have asked about having a late antlerless season - sometime in December - and Johnson said he would continue discussing it with the DNR.

While he acknowledged that participation in late-season hunts hasn’t been as high in other states that have tried them, “Minnesota isn’t like other states,” he said.

“We definitely have to think outside the box and look at new ways of getting people to harvest antlerless deer,” he said.

When the DNR began looking at doing an early season, officials looked at Wisconsin’s T-Zone, where there are early season and late-season hunts.

About 80 percent of the harvest happens during the early season, Cornicelli said.

“I don’t think we would add much to the harvest if we did it late,” he said.

The option can’t be ruled out in the long-term, but isn’t likely in the near future. More likely, Cornicelli said, is the early antlerless season will take place in more permit areas next fall.
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