The firearms deer hunting opener is Saturday November 5 in Minnesota.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says the weather and healthy deer population in Central Minnesota should lead to a successful opening deer hunting weekend.  Schmitt says deer are more active in cooler weather, which we're expected to have this weekend.  He says rain and/or snow could be a negative.

Schmitt breaks down the deer populations in the state saying the southern portion of the state is strong, in the northeast they are trying to build a larger deer population but tough winters have hurt what they have.  He says the northwestern portion of the state is a mixture of strong deer numbers in some spots but a smaller population in others.

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Heading into the deer season Schmitt highlighted some common violations that are committed by hunters.  Those violations include baiting, failure to validate a license, failure to validate a deer tag, failure to register a deer, no blaze orange, transporting an uncased loaded firearm and not having your deer license with you.

Schmitt says as of Tuesday the DNR is reporting deer hunting license sales at 212,000  sold so far in the state.  He expects that number to swell to 400,000 to 500,000.  Schmitt indicates that many expected deer hunters just haven't purchased their license yet.  He says last year at this time 225,000 licenses had been sold and when the dust cleared approximately 450,000 licenses were purchased.  Schmitt indicates that these numbers include all deer hunting licenses which includes archery and muzzleloader.

This year Schmitt says there is some mandatory testing areas in the state for Chronic Wasting Disease for harvested deer.  He says go to the DNR website to learn more about where these areas are.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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