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Here's a deer hunting primer

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a host of tips for those heading out into the wilds this weekend for the deer hunting opener. Here’s a sample of things to think about this season.

Register your deer

Hunters are required to register every deer they harvest before processing, before antlers are removed and within 48 hours after taking the animal. Hunters can register deer online, via phone or in person. Information from deer registration is essential for the DNR to track and manage deer populations.

It’s in the wind

Deer have an amazing sense of smell, reported to be 500 to 1,000 times better than humans. They use their sense of smell to locate food, find mates and to avoid predators such as human hunters. Just a slight whiff of your scent can send a deer running off before you see them or before they see you.

Regardless of your hunting style or the hunting season, always keep track of what the wind is doing and plan your deer hunt accordingly. You don’t want your scent to blow into the area where you most expect deer to come from, and it’s typically best to hunt with the wind in your face.

Share recipes

Do you have a favorite venison recipe? Share it with the Minnesota DNR by Nov. 30 for a chance to be featured on our website, social media and other publications.

Recipes can carry special meaning. They’re passed down generations and are central to cultural traditions. And some are special because they just taste darn good. Wild game meals give hunters a chance to fully appreciate their harvest, share with friends and family, and connect with nature on a deeper level.

Visit the DNR website to submit a recipe online.

The DNR also welcomes photos of any aspect of hunting you’d like to share like landscapes, deer harvests, chickadees, deer camp or high fives. And please make sure hunters have on the required blaze clothing and are safely handling firearms.

Muzzle up

Not too early to gear up for muzzleloader season

Muzzleloader season is 16 days long and for some offers a chance to extend hunting opportunities, especially if their regular firearms or archery season action ends up being slow. The season begins Nov. 25 and runs through Dec. 10.

Deer harvest

Anyone interested in statewide deer harvest data can find current deer harvest figures and harvest reports for past years on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources deer reports and statistics page.