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It's Time! Deer Hunting...Inside the Numbers.

by Craig Holgate

Minnesota deer facts

Deer: the animal

  • Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 lbs., males 170 lbs. – the average weight of female and male humans.
  • The biggest white-tailed deer ever recorded was a 500-pound Minnesota buck.
  • A whitetail’s home range is about one square mile.
  • Minnesota’s deer population is about 1 million deer. Texas is No. 1 with 3.5 million deer. 
Deer: hunting  
  • Last year, 31 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 52 percent were antlered bucks.
  • 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season.
  • The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season.
  • Last year’s total deer harvest was 186,000.
  • License options allow hunters to buy individual licenses for all the seasons and give hunters choices in where and when they can hunt deer.
  • Hunters can take two-to-five deer in many parts of the state where populations allow. 
  • Minnesota has averaged deer harvested 200,500 deer during the last five years. The Midwestern state with the largest deer harvest is Michigan at 425,000.
  • The largest typical whitetail buck ever taken in Minnesota had a Boone & Crockett score of 202; shot by John Breen in 1918 near Funkley, Minn.
  • Minnesota’s No. 1 non-typical whitetail buck had 43 points and a Boone & Crockett score of 268 5/8; shot by 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch in 1974. 

Deer: licenses

  • More than 725,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2012.
  • 98 percent of deer licenses are sold to Minnesota residents.
  • The DNR Information Center remained open two hours later on the day before last year’s deer opener to answer more than 2,000 telephone inquiries, most of them related to the firearms opener.

Deer: economics

  • Nearly 500,000 deer hunters in Minnesota.
  • Direct retail sales – $234 million.
  • Salaries, wages, business owner income – $127 million.
  • State and local tax revenue – $28 million.
  • Number of directly supported jobs – 3,760.
  • Economic impact is greatest in Greater Minnesota. 
GOOD LUCK and Be Safe!
(All numbers and facts from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)