Minnesota’s deer hunters have killed about 134,000 whitetails so far this season, down about 6 percent from this time last year.
The decline wasn’t unexpected, because the Department of Natural Resources issued fewer antlerless tags to hunters this year.
Meanwhile, deer license sales are up 2 percent to 462,365. The biggest increase is in deer license sales to 10- and 11-year-olds, which jumped 13 percent to 10,055.
DID YOU KNOW?
•The DNR has sampled about 800 deer for CWD near Pine Island, Minn., where a single deer was found with CWD in 2010. So far 634 samples have come back negative; the rest are pending.
•Officials confirmed the first case of rabies in a whitetailed deer in Minnesota recently. The sick deer was found in Mower County. “It’s the first one we’ve ever documented,’’ said Michelle Carstensen, the DNR’s health program supervisor. It doesn’t mean there’s lots of deer with rabies, she said. “It’s a rare finding, but it’s a good reminder for people not to handle sick deer.’’ Any mammal can contract rabies, she said.
•Officials are investigating reports of a horse shot by a deer hunter at a Pine River-area ranch. A firearm was seized and a projectile was recovered from the dead horse.
•A young deer hunter near Fosston accidently tripped into a bear den and had to kill the angry bear.
•Conservation office Jeff Johanson of Osakis has had three cases this fall where hunters shot at pheasants out the window of a vehicle.
More from Doug Smith
A $1.67 million, three-year federal grant that funds the program has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, officials announced Monday.
Waterfowl, deer and upland hunts are available
The Department of Natural Resources announced a change in fishing regulations for Mille Lacs Lake that officials say will help attract more national bass tournaments to the area.
Despite this year’s low walleye population, DNR fishery surveys have shown this year that there may be good news on the horizon.
Not good news for Lake Vermilion: state officials have confirmed the popular northern Minnesota lake is infested with spiny waterfleas.