These days, it seems, most everything is accelerated.
So it has been with Brainerd lakes area deer hunts.
The good old days really aren't that old and the not-so-good days were very recent - the area and state has seen a steady decline in deer harvest numbers from the heyday of the early 2000s.
Yes, that long-ago time when deer harvest numbers were at an all-time high.
Another warm deer hunting firearms opener is in store for Brainerd area hunters, according to the forecast from the National Weather Service in Duluth.
The deer opener forecast:
Saturday morning - Mostly clear with low temperatures 25-30 degrees and southwest winds 5 mph.
Saturday - Mostly sunny with high temperatures 50-55 degrees and south winds 10-15 mph.
Sunday morning - Partly cloudy with low temperatures 33-38 degrees.
Sunday - Partly cloudy with high temperatures 53-58 degrees.
The forecast mirrors the 2009 deer hunting firearms opener when temperatures reached 57 degrees on opening day and 59 degrees on the first Sunday
The 2010 Minnesota firearms deer hunting opener is Saturday, and the forecast is for a harvest similar to that of 2009, when 11,025 deer were registered in the five permit areas that make up the greater Brainerd lakes area. Or maybe 2008, when that total was 12,374. But harvest numbers from, say, even way back in 2007 - 17,898 - are likely a thing of the past.
"From 2000-2003 there were a lot of deer around," said Gary Drotts, DNR wildlife manager in Brainerd. "People were thinking there would be this kind of harvest every year. But that's not going to happen. A more realistic goal is what we have now. We should be around 12,000 to 15,000. From a harvest perspective, that (the early 2000s) was the good old days.
"It's going to be interesting. I would hope we finally get the population decline to stabilize and to go back up. It's continued to decline every year, more than I thought it would. It's going to take time to flatten out and come back again. It (the harvest) should be in the 10,500 to 11,000 range - at about the same as last year, plus or minus 500 deer."
According to the DNR, too many deer were taken during the 1960s, forcing the DNR to began rebuilding the deer population in 1970s. That was completed in the 1990s and the DNR now is managing the herd toward population goals established with public input, the DNR said.
"We are at or nearing those goals throughout most of the state," said Lou Cornicelli, DNR Big Game Program coordinator. "As those population goals are met, particularly in areas that were overpopulated, hunting regulations move from liberal to conservative and are adjusted based on deer management needs."
During a time of liberal hunting regulations, Minnesota's deer harvest peaked in 2003 at 290,000, including a record 24,301 in the five permit areas in the greater Brainerd lakes area.
"In 2003 we were saying, 'This is not sustainable. It's going to start crashing,'" Drotts said. "And that's what happened. In order to flatten out and come back up we've got to cut down on the doe numbers that are harvested."
The DNR continues to issue fewer either-sex permits than it did seven years ago and Cornicelli expects that, statewide, the harvest should be similar to the 194,000 deer harvested in 2009.
But, as always, those numbers will likely be dictated by another number - the temperature. Saturday's forecast is for sun and high temperatures in the mid-50s - a bit too balmy by most hunters' standards.
"It will all depend on the weather," Drotts said. "It (harvest numbers) should flatten out and come up a little. It all depends on opening weekend - 60 to 70 percent of the deer are shot in the first three days. And you can see a 10 to 20 percent change (in harvest numbers) just because of the weather.
"We'll be on the dark side of the moon, which should be good. But everyone has their theories. A lot of hope and hype. When you get out, that's when you hit the reality side. Are you in the right spot? Do you have the right scent? ..."
One advantage hunters will have over last year: The majority of standing corn will be cut by the time the deer season opens, Cornicelli said. Last year, 80 percent of the state's corn crop was still in the fields on the deer opener, he said. Corn provides standing cover for deer and can significantly impact the harvest.
Nearly 500,000 hunters are expected to participate in the firearms deer season, which concludes in northern Minnesota on Nov. 21 and Nov. 14 in all other parts of the state.
"We don't push enough about the economics," Drotts said. "There will be 30,000 to 40,000 hunters (in his five permit areas), and the average hunter spends $300, which is an old figure. That's $9 million. That's a huge economic factor. A big economic generator."
BRIAN S. PETERSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5864. To follow him on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/brian_speterson.
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