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MN DNR: ​Minnesota deer facts

Posted by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on

Minnesota deer facts

Deer: The animal

  • Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 lbs., and males weigh about 170 lbs.
  • The biggest white-tailed deer recorded in Minnesota was a 500-pound buck.
  • A whitetail’s home range is about 1 square mile.

Deer hunting

  • There are nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters in Minnesota.
  • Last year, 30 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 63 percent were antlered bucks.
  • 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season.
  • The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season.
  • Hunters can register their deer via internet, phone or at walk-in big-game registration stations, except in southeastern Minnesota permit areas 339 to 349 during the firearms season while the DNR samples deer for chronic wasting disease.
  • The largest typical whitetail buck taken in Minnesota had a Boone & Crockett score of 202, shot by John Breen in 1918 near Funkley.
  • Minnesota’s No. 1 nontypical whitetail buck had 43 points, shot by 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch in 1974.

Deer licenses

  • In total, about 606,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2015.
  • 97 percent of Minnesota deer licenses are sold to state residents.
  • The DNR Information Center remained open 3 1/2 hours later on the day before last year’s deer opener to answer more than 1,600 telephone inquiries, most of them related to the firearms opener.

Hunting economics*

  • All hunting-related expenditures in Minnesota totaled $725 million.
  • Trip-related expenses such as food and lodging, transportation were $235 million.
  • Hunters spent $400 million on equipment.
  • Hunters spent $90 million on other items such as magazines, membership dues, licenses, permits, land leasing and ownership.

* From the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (
Deer management in Minnesota

  • The DNR is entrusted to manage the deer herd on behalf of, and for, the benefit of all Minnesotans.
  • Deer are the number one hunted species in Minnesota and deer hunters along with other hunters and wildlife watchers together contribute more than $1.3 billion to the economy.
  • The DNR is beginning the planning process to write a statewide deer management plan and the agency is interested in your thoughts about deer management. The public will have multiple ways to provide input into the planning process including membership on the Deer Plan Advisory Committee, public meetings, focus group meetings, and online public comments.

More information on deer and deer management can be found at

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