About 90,000 deer killed on opening weekend

  • Updated: November 9, 2010 - 9:11 PM
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Catch and release: This wolf was accidentally trapped near Rochester last week. DNR conservation officers and the trapper were able to release it. Wolves are rare in southern Minnesota. This one likely traveled there from central Wisconsin, officials say.

Minnesota's firearms deer hunters registered around 90,000 whitetails over the weekend, about 1,000 more than last year.

"The opener was better than last year, but I'm not sure how much better,'' Lou Cornicelli said. He still expects hunters will kill around 200,000 deer this season.

It's difficult to compare seasons because registrations are coming in quicker than past years because for the first time hunters can register their deer via phone or Internet. Fifty-four percent of the deer were registered that way. Meanwhile, as of Monday, the DNR had issued 431,268 firearms deer licenses, up from 423,883 last year.

Missing points

As of Sunday, nine hunters in southeastern Minnesota called conservation officers to say they mistakenly shot deer that didn't have at least four antler points on one side, a new requirement there. Officers seized those deer. And a few other hunters were cited for the same error. "If a hunter calls in, the outcome will be better than if we find out about it later,'' officer Dan McBroom said. Meanwhile, buck harvest there was down 28 percent; antlerless harvest was up 23 percent.

More baiting cases

Numerous hunters were cited for hunting over bait, though officials haven't tallied the numbers.

DOUG SMITH

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