Nearly half a million firearms deer hunters are preparing for the firearms deer season that opens Nov. 7, and offers opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, find adventure outdoors and put venison in the freezer.

Hunters help keep deer populations in line with population goals across the state.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) wildlife managers report favorable weather so far this year and good opportunities to harvest deer in most areas.

Southern deer report

Weather conditions for deer and other farmland wildlife were favorable in 2020.

Winter conditions were milder, with above-average temperatures and shallower snowpack compared with 2019, with no spring snow storms. Habitat conditions reflected the favorable weather.

River floodplains, which offer some of the best deer habitat and deer hunting in the southern region, finally had a year to recover from persistent flooding over the last few years.

As such, these floodplain habitats are once again offering excellent cover for deer, which bodes well for deer hunters. Upland grassland areas and wetland basins are in good shape as well, but hunters will encounter lower water levels or completely dry wetland basins especially in the extreme southwest.

As always, the largest wildcard in this landscape in determining overall deer harvest is the amount of standing crop remaining in the field during firearms deer season.

The crop harvest is in full swing right now and ahead of the long-term average – another positive sign for hunters.

Learn more on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/.

- Image courtesy of the Minnesota DNR Web site