Deer hunters entering the state’s woods and fields on the firearms opener Saturday will be greeted by unusually warm weather.
• The forecast high Saturday in Worthington is 63, with wind from the south at 9 miles per hour and no rain. Sunday, the expected high is 58, with a 60 percent chance of rain and a south wind at 8 mph.
• In Brainerd, the predicted high is 59, with a 10 percent chance of rain and a 3-mph south wind. Sunday might be wetter, with a 60 percent chance of rain and winds from the south at 8 mph.
• Saturday in International Falls, a high of 55 is expected, with a west wind at 4 mph. Sunday, the high temperature will bump up a degree to 56, with a 50 percent chance of rain and winds from the south at 7 mph.
The DNR estimates the 2016 total whitetail harvest will be between 165,000 and 185,000. This is an increase from a year ago, when the total harvest was a little more than 159,000.
Make sure you have a place to use a bonus deer permit before purchasing one from a license vendor. Some vendors are selling bonus permits, saying they can be used in various areas statewide. In fact, outside the metro, relatively few areas exist where the permits can be used.
Low archery success
The DNR issued 2,995 Camp Ripley archery permits for the two weekends hunting was allowed on the installation, Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 29-30. A total of 4,000 permits had been available.
The number of hunters actually participating over the two weekends was 2,270, with the second weekend the more popular of the two, when hunter numbers peaked at 1,457 on Oct. 29, compared to 813 on Oct. 20.
A total of 113 deer were bagged, representing a 5 percent success rate. Bucks represented 76 percent of whitetails harvested.
Adult bucks accounted for about 49 percent of the kill, with yearling bucks totaling 27 percent.
Brian Sanoski of Randall, Minn., arrowed the biggest buck, at 218 pounds. Urban Brady of Bowlus, Minn., felled a 212-pounder, and Matthew Tester of Andover dropped a buck weighing 208 pounds.