Area hunters have harvested 4,700 deer so far this year, while hunting around the state had brought in 153,643 at press time.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, local conservation officers were kept busy as the hunting season got underway.

Conservation Officer Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) said he checked hunters during the firearms deer season opener and caught quite a few individuals hunting deer over bait. Everything from battery powered corn feeders to feed blocks to molasses to heaps of shelled corn were found near occupied deer stands. One hunter was found set up next to a motorized feeder that was flinging corn around the woods and under the feeder was an additional few gallons of corn that had been dumped on top of a feed block.

Meanwhile CO Ben Karon (Pine City) said that hunters found varied levels of success during the opener, with many hunters passing on deer. Many hunters and ATVs were checked as they were coming and going. Firearms were generally in cases or unloaded.

Clean. Drain. Dry. To Stop Invasive Species

The DNR reminds hunters that they can greatly reduce the risk of causing a new invasive species infestation. Before entering a new area and before leaving, hunters should:

CLEAN: Inspect and clean machines, trailers, boots, and equipment from mud and plant debris. DRAIN: Drain all boats and recreational vehicles. DRY: Rinse/Dry boots and waders.

“All sportsmen and women, regardless of your passion, run the risk of spreading invaders, so it’s important we all do our part,” said Dane Huinker, Conservation Program Manager of Wildlife Forever. “Invasive weeds pose grave threats to our outdoor activities by ... degrading the resource for our wildlife and games species.”

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