A total of 208 deer fell to archers in the first of two bow hunts at Camp Ripley last weekend.

“Wet weather greeted hunters and made it challenging for them to maximize their time in the field, with most of the hunters leaving by midday on Friday,” said Beau Liddell, DNR Little Falls area wildlife manager. ”Nevertheless, hunters still did well, resulting in the ninth highest harvest for the first hunt.

“For the ninth year in a row hunters were allowed to take up to two deer and to use bonus permits to increase harvest on antlerless deer,” Liddell said. “Harvest was above average. We are pleased that fawns and does comprised 61 percent of the harvest.

”“Unless we get poor weather, we’re on pace to register another top 10 harvest for both hunts combined,” Liddell said.

The DNR said 2,502 permits were issued for the first hunt, with 2,059 hunters participating, for a participation rate of 82 percent (down from 84 percent last year).

According to the DNR:

Hunter success was 10 percent (identical to the long-term average for the first hunt). Seven hunters took their bag limit of two deer.

“With 14 consecutive mild winters in this part of the state and strong harvests since 2000, Camp Ripley’s deer herd is in good condition,” Liddell said. “Many hunters who provided comments indicated they saw numerous deer.”

Five adult bucks tipped the scales at or above 200 pounds. The largest buck registered weighed 215 pounds, taken by James Higgins of South Haven, Minn. Of adult does registered, the largest weighed in at 142 pounds, taken by Gerald Hartung of Clear Lake.


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