Low population numbers mean smaller bag limits and other restrictions for the 2015 deer season in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told deer hunters to expect another conservative deer season, because the state wants to help increase deer population numbers.
This is the second year in a row Minnesota has implemented a management strategy aimed at increasing deer population numbers in certain regions.
“The 2015 deer hunting regulations will be quite similar to last year, with one-deer limits in most of the state,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader.
McInenly said the mild winter and reduced harvest of last season should mean more deer sightings for hunters this year. “We are continuing a conservative harvest approach in order to raise deer numbers consistent with our recent goal-setting process,” he said.
In the northern part of the state, 14 areas will be open for the taking of bucks only.
Hunters who want to shoot an antlerless deer in areas not restricted to bucks will need to enter a lottery for 70 of the 128 permit areas.
“Hunters should check the 2015 regulations early, because in the majority of areas, hunters will need to apply for a permit to shoot an antlerless deer,” McInenly said. Hunters will be able to hunt for either a buck or doe in 29 areas.
These changes will also affect youth hunters. Some will have more opportunities in areas set aside for youth-only antlerless hunts in the southwest part of the state. The DNR said prior lottery system antlerless hunts were not restrictive enough to help increase deer numbers.
For hunters wishing to get an antlerless permit, the DNR encourages them to purchase a license by September 10. Those who do are entered into a lottery.
They ask anyone not wishing to take an antlerless deer to purchase their hunting licenses at a later date.