How's the firearm deer season going in Minnesota? It really depends on where you are at. Some areas are finding pockets of success. I've had several friends fill their tags, but I've also heard a lot of frustrations. It seems the further north you go in the state, the worse luck you'll have.
Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers give weekly reports, and this week's report is the first since firearm season opened last week. There are a few common things being reported across multiple zones.
A lot of hunters were ticketed for baiting deer. Almost every area reported had at least one baiting violation. Deer baiting is illegal in Minnesota.
Another common issue across the reports is hunters complaining of the low deer numbers and high frequency of wolf sightings.
Babbitt, MN - Hunter encounters three wolves that ran to his deer shortly after his shot.
A particular report that got my attention was a hunter who claimed that after he shot his deer, three wolves came in on the kill. He had to scare them off. After he field dressed the deer, the wolves came back and made quick work of the gut pile.
The hunter then reported to the conservation officer that the wolves then ran down the power line in the direction of another shot heard. Could this mean the wolves know that a gunshot means a meal? That's very speculative, but with how hungry these wolves are, you never know.
Orr, MN - The fewest number of hunters this officer has ever seen.
Conservation officer Troy Fondie out of Orr, Minnesota says it was the fewest number of deer hunters he has seen in his career:
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the fewest number of deer hunters he has seen in his career, and even fewer deer. He fielded numerous comments and complaints from hunters about no deer and abundant wolf numbers. Many deer camps were vacant.
Tower, MN - Wolves on Lake Vermilion
Conservation officer Aaron Larson of Tower personally witnessed a wolf on Birch Point of Lake Vermilion and also fielded numerous complaints of hunters only seeing wolves from their deer stand.
Grand Marais, MN - Extremely abysmal for few folks that hunted.
Officer Hudson Ledeen out of Grand Marais said the deer-hunter success was extremely abysmal for the few folks that hunted. Hunters continued to express displeasure about low deer numbers and the high frequency of wolf sightings throughout the area.
You can read the full report by area on the Minnesota DNR website.
States with the most registered hunters
Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger