MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Minnesota hunters headed out this morning for the start of firearms deer season.

The season got underway Saturday. It runs through Nov. 19.

The Minnesota DNR says the deer population has increased after a couple of mild winters.

About 500,000 hunters are expected to take part in the deer hunt statewide.

Grand Rapids is hosting the 15th annual Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener.