MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says deer numbers are continuing to rebound all across the state this year.
Officials say the deer populations are now at or above its goal levels for lots of areas.
This year, hunters are noticing. The Youngren family has been waiting for deer opener all year long, and it took all of 20 minutes for all three of them to each shoot a buck.
“This is a first [laughs]!” Derek Youngren said. “We usually shoot three in a season, maybe if we’re lucky.”
His brother said he noticed a difference from this year compared to last year.
“Yeah, there was deer everywhere,” Dylan Youngren said. “When I was walking out of the woods I ended up seeing eight, so there’s a lot more deer.”
Which is what the DNR works hard for, trying to get the deer population at or above its goal levels. It also monitors the deer population to make sure they are healthy.
A big concern this year is Chronic Wasting Disease. It is a disease that affects the brain in deer. The DNR has found deer across the state of Minnesota that have CWD. The only wild deer affected last year were in southern Minnesota, but the DNR want to make sure it knows where the affected animals area.
They have sampling stations throughout the state. Nicholas Snavely was running the station in Howard Lake.
“We want to make sure that the deer that are harvested are healthy,” Snavely said. “We want to make sure we have a healthy deer herd so that not only the deer are healthy, but the hunters have a surplus of deer out there on the landscape that they can harvest every year.”
Hunters in three different parts of the state — North Central, Central, and Southeastern Minnesota — are required to bring their deer in to the sampling station on opening weekend.