With the Minnesota firearm deer opener days away, the Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that it is extending its phone hours to accommodate hunters and others.

The DNR information center will be open until 8 p.m. on weekdays (previously 4:30 p.m.) and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

“It’s important to help our customers when it’s convenient for them,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr in a news release. “Being a hunter myself, I appreciate being able to make calls after work or on the weekend, and now we know others do too.”

The DNR said it studied its call hours last fall. From November 2016 through Oct. 28, the information center received more than 12,000 calls during the extended hours – an increase in calls by more than 16 percent during the same period in 2015.

The information center number is 888-MINNDNR (888-646-6367).