Preliminary 2013 firearms deer harvest numbers released

Minnesota hunters harvested 164,550 deer during the 2013 firearms season, according to preliminary numbers announced by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Excluding the late season in southeastern Minnesota, hunters harvested 144,000 deer, a 6 percent drop from the 153,000 harvested in 2012. Preliminary numbers for the late season in southeastern Minnesota show hunters harvested 4,400 deer, down from the 5,000 harvested in 2012. The statewide muzzleloader season remains open through Sunday, Dec. 15. The archery season closes on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Deer harvest numbers are calculated using data provided by hunters when they register a deer.  A final report, which includes more detailed harvest information, will be released at the end of January.

Best start to winter recreation season since 2010

Anyone eager to get out cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling will find an abundance of opportunities at many Minnesota state parks and trails, thanks to last week’s heavy snowfall.

The DNR advises prospective park and trail visitors to check the website for trip planning tips before heading out to a winter recreation destination.  Snow depth and trail conditions are updated every Thursday after 2 p.m. throughout the winter months at www.mndnr.gov/snow.

Many Minnesota state parks rent snowshoes, and several rent cross-country skis. For rental locations and prices, check out the “winter activities guide” at www.mndnr.gov/winterguide.

For a schedule of upcoming programs and special events at Minnesota state parks and trails, including the popular candlelight ski and snowshoe events, visit the online calendar at www.mndnr.gov/ptcalendar or pick up one of the new “Programs and Special Events” brochures at park offices.  – DNR releases

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