First day of deer hunt starts in Minnesota - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

First day of deer hunt starts in Minnesota

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La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) ------ Buck fever is officially here in Minnesota. The deer hunting firearm season opens Saturday morning.

It is estimated a half million hunters will take to the woods.

Today marks the 10th annual Governor's hunting opener and this year it is in Winona.  Governor Mark Dayton joined hundreds of avid outdoors men and women this afternoon at the Winona Sportsman Club.

Dayton stressed the importance of the sport to preserve our natural habitat and also thanked local leaders and the DNR for their commitment to deer management. The Governor says this event is in an effort to showcase family hunting traditions in Minnesota.

"I know what it is like to be involved in a family with multi-generational hunting and many of the deer hunters here, their fathers and mothers and grandparents are all involved and their kids and grandkids. It is a great family bonding activity."  The Governor is an avid pheasant hunter and fisherman, however does not deer hunt.  While he will not be in a tree stand tomorrow, he wished the crowd a safe and successful hunt.

Some fun facts--- currently, the deer population in Minnesota is about one million.  In 2011, 192-thousand deer were harvested during the deer season.  The hunting business supplies Minnesota with around 500 million dollars in revenue annually. The nine day gun deer season in Wisconsin runs from November 17th through the 25th.

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