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A mix of success stories at opener

Eli Loktu, 11, of Zimmerman, shot this 13-point buck in Area 241 opening day while hunting with relatives.1 / 2
Joel Lundquist shot this deer in Hubbard County opening weekend. Lundquist, of Maple Grove, was hunting near Long Lost Lake. The deer was 12 points; 217 pounds.2 / 2

Two monster bucks were harvested opening weekend.  An 11-year-old boy shot a 13-point buck opening day in Area 241 in Hubbard County.  Eli Loktu of Zimmerman shot the buck about 4:30 p.m. Saturday while hunting with relatives.  Joel Lundquist (below) took down a 12-point, 200- plus pound buck near Long Lost Lake the same day.  

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 68,401 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season, according to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) release that was issued on Tuesday.  Final numbers from the first three days show that the number of deer registered rose 6.3 percent from 2014. Buck harvest during the first three days of the firearms season was up 8.5 percent from last year.  Zone 1 total firearms harvest was up 8.2 percent, Zone 2 was up 5.9 percent and Zone 3 was up 3.2 percent.  

The DNR is projecting the 2015 total deer harvest to be between 140,000 to 155,000 deer. The 2014 total harvest after last year’s conservative season was just over 139,000.  In much of Minnesota, the deer season continues through this Sunday. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Nov. 22; the late southeastern season, which runs Nov. 21-29; and the muzzleloader season, which begins Nov. 28 and continues through Dec. 13. New this year, hunters can preview an interactive deer information tool being developed by the DNR at  This map is the first step toward launching an online application that delivers useful information hunters need and want. Hunters are encouraged to take a look at the application, discuss it and provide DNR with feedback.  

“Hunters are seeing more deer this year as we continue to build deer populations across much of the state,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager.  “We’ve issued a conservative number of antlerless deer permits, and because of this, many hunters are seeing deer they can’t shoot. However, patience this year should translate to more harvest opportunities in the future.”  This report was supplemented with materials from  the DNR.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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