MINNESOTA

Deer Forecast 2003

Last year’s harvest of 222,350 deer was the third-highest in Minnesota history, and with a population of 1.1 million deer it could be as high again this year. Lou Cornicelli, DNR big-game coordinator, says the harvests remain best along the “transition zone,” a wide, diagonal strip of broadleaf forest (with abundant crop lands scattered throughout) stretching southeast to northwest that divides the western prairies from the north’s pine forests. This zone also produces the biggest bucks, especially in the southeastern counties of Houston and Winona. St. Louis and Washington counties to the north also contribute their share. Contact: Department of Natural Resources (651-296-6157; www.dnr.state.mn.us).

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