Deer harvest trailing last year by 10 percent

Dec. 9—WILLMAR — The statewide deer harvest is running 10 percent below last year at this time.

The numbers could improve, as the muzzleloader season continues through Sunday. The second weekend of the muzzleloader season usually sees the better harvest.

As of this past week, the muzzleloader season saw a harvest of 6,061 deer, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported on its website on Wednesday that the statewide deer harvest to this point totaled 161,329, or seven percent below last year at this point. It's 10 percent below the five-year mean.

The harvest in the Southwestern region of the state, which includes the Willmar area, is running two percent below the harvest at this point last year. It's about four percent higher than the five-year mean for this point.

Deer Permit Area 277 which includes northern Kandiyohi County remains one of the region's most productive. The DNR reported this week a total harvest of 4,349. The total included 1,980 mature males and 370 juvenile males and 1,710 mature females and 289 juvenile females.

The northwest and northeast regions of the state saw the largest harvest declines, with the harvest totals at this point 16 percent below last year in the northwest and 18 percent below in the northeast. The Central area showed a two percent decline from last year at this point.