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It’s here: Minnesota deer firearms season opens Saturday

Tomorrow morning, thousands of area hunters will don their blaze orange and trek to field and wood for what many consider a state holiday.

Minnesota’s firearms deer season officially begins a half hour before sunrise -- about 7:30 a.m. -- on Saturday, Nov. 3. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects half a million hunters to participate across the state.

An important reminder -- daylight saving time officially ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. Everyone, deer hunters especially, needs to remember to set their clocks back an hour before going to bed Saturday night. “Falling back” on the clock means sunrise will be an hour earlier on Sunday.

It also will be important to prepare for the weather.

Saturday’s forecast from the National Weather Service in Duluth calls for a 40 percent chance of precipitation, with a slight chance of snow showers before 11 a.m., a slight chance of rain and snow showers between 11 a.m. and noon, followed by a chance of rain showers after noon. The temperature Saturday morning is expected to be about 30 degrees and the high temperature Saturday afternoon is expected to be about 40 degrees. There should be a east wind of about 5 mph.

On Sunday, snow showers are likely before 8 a.m., rain and snow likely 8-10 a.m., then rain showers likely after 10 a.m. It will be cloudy with a high temperature near 40 degrees expected.

For the remainder of next week there’s a chance of snow and rain through Wednesday, with high temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s expected, according the weather service.

A few other points to remember, courtesy the DNR:

  • Hunters will have additional deer hunting opportunities because deer numbers continue to rebound across the state. Many areas now have populations at or above goal levels.
  • Hunters should follow the three tenets of safe firearms handling: Treat each firearm as if it is loaded by keeping finger off the trigger; always control the muzzle of the firearm; and be sure of target and what is beyond. Tree stand accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters, so it’s always important they wear a safety harness and follow other safety guidelines.
  • The DNR requires hunters in central, north-central and southeast Minnesota (including deer permit area 255) to have their harvested deer tested for chronic wasting disease during opening weekend of the season Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4. Mandatory CWD testing also will occur in much of southeast Minnesota during the opening weekend of the 3B season, Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. During both periods, stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hunters can find information about CWD testing locations and procedures at mndnr.gov/cwd and in the 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet.
  • Hunters can find deer hunting information at mndnr. gov/hunting/deer and join in on social media using #DeerCampMN. They can direct hunting questions to the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
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