MINNESOTA

Deer Forecast 2004 -- MIDWEST

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Minnesota's 2003 harvest of 289,000 deer was a state record, and the pieces are in place for an equally strong season this year. With a deer herd of 1.1 million and growing, DNR big-game biologist Lou Cornicelli says antlerless permits will again be easily available. Trophy-buck odds are highest along the Transition Zone, a band of broadleaf forest that divides the state's prairies from its pine forests. Yet, Cornicelli points out, Winona County, well east of this zone, is the top area for record bucks, followed by Washington County, adjacent to St. Paul.