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The highest deer harvests occurred during the early to mid 1990s and from 2000 to 2008. From 2000 to 2008 the harvest topped 200,000 deer each year. The high harvests in the early 2000s occurred at a time when the overriding philosophy was to reduce the deer population so it wouldn’t grow out of control and to address certain environmental, economic and social concerns. Harvests in the 1970s never topped 100,000, while harvests in the 1980s were under 150,000. In 2016, the harvest was just over 173,000.

In total, about 604,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2016.

The three primary types of deer hunting seasons are firearms, muzzleloader and archery. Firearms season opens on Saturday, Nov. 4; muzzleloader on Saturday, Nov. 25; and archery season opened on Sept. 16.

Deer are the number one hunted species in Minnesota and deer hunters along with other hunters and wildlife watchers together contribute more than $1.3 billion each year to the economy.
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