Whitetail deer hunting in Minnesota opened Sept. 19 with the archery season. It continues Saturday with the start of single-shot muzzleloader hunting — a two-week subseason statewide that will have a strong following this year.

According to license sales data kept by the Department of Natural Resources, 20% more residents are poised to join the muzzleloader hunt this year than in 2019.

As of Monday of this week, the DNR had sold 10,670 resident muzzleloader licenses of all kinds. The largest spike in participation will be among youth hunters, 13 to 17 years old. In that category, DNR has sold upward of 600 licenses, 34% more than a year ago.