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Monday, March 05, 2007

Deer Harvest exceeds ten-year average

Area 2006 deer harvest exceeds ten-year average

The total number of deer taken during all 2006 deer seasons (firearms, archery, muzzleloader) for a several-county area of southwest Minnesota is up from both the 2005 harvest and the average of the previous 10 years, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife office at Windom.

Those permit areas (454, 455, 456, 457, 458, and 459) are located primarily in Murray, Nobles, Jackson, Cottonwood and Martin counties.The total number of deer harvested in these permit areas jumped 11 percent from both the 2005 season and the ten-year average while the archery season harvest increased 13 percent from 2005 and 31 percent from the ten-year average.

Muzzleloader harvest was up 3 percent from 2005 and 128 percent from the ten-year average. Firearms harvest was 13 percent above the 2005 total and remained close to the ten-year average.The overall adult buck harvest was up 3 percent from 2005, but down 2 percent from the ten-year average although both muzzleloader and archer hunters saw a decrease in the buck harvest from 2005.

Overall, 45 percent of the deer taken in these six local permit areas were adult bucks, compared to 48 percent in 2005.According to the DNR, the total state deer harvest for 2006 was the second highest on record. Nearly 270,000 deer were taken by nearly 500,000 hunters. Firearms hunters took 229,000 deer while archery and muzzleloader hunters harvested 25,000 and 13,500 deer, respectively.

The past four years have yielded the top four harvests ever recorded in Minnesota, according to the DNR.

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