Deer Hunting in Minnesota

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  • C
  • 750,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 607,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $30

    Archery: $30; firearms: $30.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $165

    Archery: $165; firearms: $165.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 202"

    Taken by John A. Breen in Beltrami County in 1918.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 678

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 268 5/8"

    Taken by Mitchell A. Vakoch in Norman County in 1974.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 448

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Scott Kreidermacher shot this giant Minnesota buck. (Photo courtesy of Scott Kreidermacher)

Season Dates (2017):

Archery season opens September 16 and runs through December 31. Rifle season opens November 4 or 18 (depending on unit) and ends on different dates by unit, too. Muzzleloader season is November 25 through December 10. These are the dates set when published, please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: C

Minnesota used to be a lot better than it is now. After earning a solid B when we first issued Antler Nation grades, Minnesota's deer population has tumbled. Why? A combination of factors that include EHD, predators, and bitter winters. At least efforts by the Minnesota DNR are under way to rebuild the state's deer population. And they've recovered some, but not enough to bump the grade.

The Boone & Crockett records show how much trophy buck potential has declined in recent years. And until things start to improve for the state, the grade will continue to decline or stay the same.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Minnesota has one of the nation's more unique deer hunting opportunities in the Metro Bowhunters Resource Base. The group certifies bowhunters for special urban hunts in the twin cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Better urban management plan than the deer vasectomies being conducted on deer in select Michigan and New York cities, eh?

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Minnesota Harvests

  • matt braaten

    Olmsted , Minnesota

  • Tyler Theis

    Meeker County, Litchfield, Minnesota

From the Realtree Trophy Den