Archery hunters enjoyed good hunting weather and another successful two-day hunt Oct. 26-27 at the Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls.
Archers harvested 245 deer during the hunt, compared with 243 last year, and took six bucks weighing near or more than 200 pounds.
There were 231 deer taken during the Oct. 18-19 hunt for a total of 476 deer harvested during the two weekend hunts.
"Due to poor weather conditions during the first hunt, this represents a 7 percent decrease from last year's record take of 514 deer, but is similar to the third best take ever in 2005 of 477 deer," said Beau Liddell, Minnesota DNR-Little Falls area wildlife manager.
A total of 5,014 permits were issued for both two-day hunts, with 4,296 hunters participating. Hunter success over both hunts was slightly more than 11 percent, identical to last year and about 3 percent higher than the long-term average of 8 percent. This year, for the fourth year running, hunters at Camp Ripley were allowed to take up to two deer and use bonus permits to increase harvest of antlerless deer.
In the end, the proportion of deer taken at Camp Ripley that were antlerless was identical to last year and much higher than the long-term average (53 percent), with about 68 percent of this year's harvest made up of does or fawns.
The largest buck taken during the Oct. 26-27 hunt was also the largest deer taken over both hunts. It weighed 255 pounds and was taken by Matt Losen of New Market.
Other hunters who harvested large bucks were Scott Schlangen, Richmond, 212 pounds; Ron Scegura, Avon, 201 pounds; James Halupczok, St. Cloud, 197 pounds; Ken Paulson, Savage, 195 pounds; and Alan Gilson, Fort Ripley, 191 pounds. Steven Opatz of Avon harvested the largest doe - 117 pounds.
The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The DNR coordinates the hunt with the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre reservation.
Special deer hunts to be held in 34 state parks
The Minnesota DNR has issued a reminder that deer hunts will take place this fall in 34 state parks for those who have received special deer hunt permits.
Most parks holding a special hunt will remain open to the public. However, DNR officials strongly suggest visitors wear blaze orange while they are in a park and take care to remain within the designated no hunting areas.
For safety reasons, public use of some parks will be restricted. These restrictions will range from closing trails or areas of the park, to restricting use of the park to special hunt permit holders only.
State parks open to hunters only during the special deer hunt include Crow Wing State Park (Nov. 30-Dec. 2).
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