Hunt was slow – unless you got oneOverall, deer harvest numbers are down in the region. Over the first three days of the firearms season that began Saturday, registration totals in Two Harbors region, which includes Lake County and parts of St. Louis and Cook, are down 10 percent.
By: Mike Creger, Lake County News Chronicle
Overall, deer harvest numbers are down in the region. Over the first three days of the firearms season that began Saturday, registration totals in Two Harbors region, which includes Lake County and parts of St. Louis and Cook, are down 10 percent. Totals for the region were 1,007 compared to 1,113 in 2008.
That’s an expected decline, said Bob Kirsch, area wildlife manager at the Minnesota DNR’s Two Harbors office. Fewer anterless permits were issued this year as herd numbers balanced due to more liberal hunts in the past, harsher winters, and predators.
Kirsch was hunting out in the Brimson area and said reports there about deer were good. “But it all depends on who you ask,” he said.
A call around to Lake County registration stations late Monday afternoon brought the mixed results Kirsch alluded to. Generally, the stations in the north are reporting a down number of registrations while two in Two Harbors say the number of deer they’ve seen is up.
The optimists at Beaver Bay Sport Shop said 45 deer was pretty good considering the warm weather. It registered 22 on Saturday and 23 Monday. They aren’t open Sundays.
In Finland, hunters repeated the words “too warm and too many timberwolves.” Many saw more wolves than deer and the registrations at Maple Grove Sportshop and Wildhurst Lodge reflect that. Newcomer Finland Bait reported 50 deer over three days. One was a 19-pointer. At Maple Grove, it “seems down,” with about 30 deer. Wildhurst, home of a “big buck” contest, reported 26, “way down” from other years.
Knotted Pine Inn in Isabella had 20 registrations, which is “low, like last year.” Hunters again said it was too warm for deer to move a lot and wind didn’t help.
Hundreds of deer were registered off Highway 61 in Two Harbors. Holiday reported 150 registrations with more coming in. Little Store had 257, more than last year in the three-day span.
The DNR’s Kirsch brought up another theory on the lack of deer seen. Ample moonlight from a waning full moon may have led to more deer feeding at night.
Overall, the northeast has seen a 16-percent decrease in the number of deer registered compared to 2008.
See more deer photos from the Finland area at www.wildhurstlodge.com.