The 4,000 hunters at this fall's Camp Ripley archery hunts bagged 431 deer -- the eighth highest on record.
Archers had a 10 percent success rate, 2 percent higher than the long-term average for the annual hunts, which this year were Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 27-28. Hunters killed 208 whitetails during the first hunt, and 223 the second hunt.
"Overall harvest was about 35 percent above the long-term, 30-year average of 320 deer for both hunts combined,'' said Beau Liddell, Department of Natural Resources area wildlife supervisor.
"Of deer registered, 11 weighed in at 200-plus pounds, right in at average, although there were a lot of nice bucks that didn't get weighed,'' Liddell said.
Trophies included 14-pointers taken by Joe Adams of Brainerd and Scott Burris of Fergus Falls, and 12-point bucks killed by Joseph Krasselt of Minneapolis and Brandon Rademacher of Brainerd.
Forty-one percent of harvested deer were bucks and 59 percent were antlerless, close to the DNR's goal of 60 percent with bonus permits. The percentage of bucks has decreased since the DNR began encouraging hunters to take antlerless deer with bonus tags.
DOUG SMITHDid you know?
A hunter near Detroit Lakes who bragged on Facebook about killing multiple trophy bucks has been charged with overlimit of deer, baiting and borrowing a license. Two bows, a 13-point buck and a 10-point buck were seized. Three people were issued five citations totaling $2,655 in fines and restitution.
This from conservation officer Marty Stage of Ely: "With the upcoming wolf season, deer carcasses have become a commodity. Just a reminder to anyone wanting to possess a road-killed deer for the wolf hunt, you must obtain permission from the authorities or it becomes illegal possession of a big game animal and you will be charged."
Deer baiting has remained a problem in recent years. Last year, the Legislature imposed stiffer penalties. Now a person convicted of hunting deer with bait will lose their hunting icense for one year -- or two years if the deer scored more than 170 points.