Rain and wet conditions expected for 2022 deer season opener
Christa R. via Flickr
Outdoor News

Rain and wet conditions expected for 2022 deer season opener

Instead of a desired fresh dusting of snow on the Nov. 5 deer season opener, hunters in portions of northeast Minnesota will encounter rain throughout most of the weekend.

While the official deer season commenced on Sept. 17 with archery season in Minnesota, the celebrated start to the season begins with the firearm opener. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expects more than 400,000 hunters will participate in the firearm opener this year.

The DNR states deer hunting is the primary tool used to manage deer populations, and hunters help keep deer numbers in line with population goals across the state. Managing deer populations contributes to the overall health of Minnesota’s landscapes, natural systems, and economy.

While portions of the state are experiencing increased deer populations, the northeast region population is of concern for Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials. Deer populations along the North Shore and the greater Superior Uplands Arrowhead region have steadily declined.

To help stabilize the deer populations in the northeast region, the DNR has reduced antlerless lottery permits in numerous deer permit areas (DPAs). The number of antlerless lottery permits dropped considerably in DPA 126, which encompasses the majority of Cook County. In 2021, the DNR allowed 100 antlerless lottery permits. This year, it is a mere 25.

In addition to reducing antlerless lottery permits, the DNR and other stakeholder organizations are actively working together to improve the habitat for white-tail deer in the northeast.

WTIP’s podcast host Kalli Hawkins spoke with Dr. Lindsey Shartell, acting northeast regional wildlife manager with the Minnesota DNR, to learn more about current habitat projects in the region to help stabilize and boost white-tail deer populations.

One project near the Elephant Lake area is a collaborative effort with the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. Hawkins also spoke with Denis Quarberg, president of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, to discuss the success of the Hides for Habitat program and the challenges the association is experiencing in local participation.

Listen to the WTIP’s Outdoor News Podcast episode below: