Hunters harvested about 170,000 deer during the 2022 deer hunting season, a lower total harvest than in recent years. Total harvest was down 7% compared to the 2021 season and 10% less than the five-year average deer harvest for Minnesota.
“Lower deer numbers in northern Minnesota and poor weather during opening weekend in some parts of the state likely contributed to lower firearms A season harvest,” said Barb Keller, DNR big game program leader. “Hunters struggled with rain and wind in some parts of the state during early November, but weather was better during later seasons including firearms B and muzzleloader seasons.”
The number of deer harvested during muzzleloader season was the highest reported since 2007 and was 10% higher than the 2021 season harvest. Archery season harvest was about 1% lower than the 2021 season. Most archery season harvest occurred prior to the firearms season and peaked in late October and early November.
Analysis of the 2022 deer harvest are still underway. A final deer harvest report will be available in March — past season harvest reports are available on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/mammals/deer/management/statistics.html).
The release of the final 2022 season harvest results will coincide with opportunities for public input. The DNR will offer walk-in office hours at area wildlife offices across the state, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 2. Local wildlife managers will be available to talk one-on-one with anyone about deer and other wildlife, hunting and habitat topics, specific topics that the DNR’s deer advisory committee should be aware of, or thoughts and feedback about deer population management. Those unable to attend office hours in-person will also be able to share their thoughts through an online questionnaire (mndnr.gov/wildlife/talk-about-wildlife.html) available March 2. Written comments may be submitted to Barb Keller, Fish and Wildlife Division, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155. Comments will help inform season-setting decisions this spring for the 2023 fall deer hunting season.