Published November 15, 2012, 12:00 AM

Poor weekend weather holds down Northeastern Minnesota deer harvest

The firearms deer harvest in Northeastern Minnesota was down 14 percent compared to last year after the first 10 days of the season, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials announced Wednesday.

By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune

The firearms deer harvest in Northeastern Minnesota was down 14 percent compared to last year after the first 10 days of the season, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials announced Wednesday.

The buck harvest was even with last year’s buck harvest, but the antlerless harvest was down 29 percent from 2011. Poor weather this past weekend probably drove down success, DNR officials said.

Minnesota’s firearms deer hunt opened Nov. 3 and will continue through Sunday in Series 100 permit areas, which cover all of Northeastern Minnesota.

Statewide, the buck harvest was up 7.5 percent from last year through Monday, said Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager in St. Paul. Antlerless harvest was down 22 percent statewide.

Antlerless harvest is down because the DNR issued fewer antlerless deer permits this fall, Cornicelli said. The buck harvest is a more true measure of hunting success because all hunters may take bucks.

Last weekend’s rainy and very windy conditions probably kept hunters out of their stands, driving the buck harvest down, he said. After the first three days of the season, the buck harvest in Northeastern Minnesota had been up about 8 percent.

This year’s harvest to date follows a 2011 year-end firearms harvest that was down 5 percent from 2010 in Series 100 units. Last year’s buck harvest was down 17 percent from 2010.

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