The Minnesota deer hunting season kicks off this weekend, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects the number of deer killed will be over 200,000, according to MPR News.

Last year, 173,213 deer were killed, so hunters will be rather happy to see the expected number much higher this year. The estimated number is much more in line with the 20-year average.

Hunters have been upset with the past couple of seasons, and many of the 500,000 hunters in the state have blamed the DNR because of the regulations they have issued. The DNR, on the other hand, have said the decline was caused by several aggressive hunting years in the early 2000s, along with severe winters in 2013 and 2014.

"Deer numbers are at or have exceeded population goals over most of the state. Some northeast and southwest permit areas are slightly below goal," DNR Wildlife Chief Paul Telander said in a statement to MPR News. "Parts of central Minnesota and southeastern Minnesota are above goal. From an overall, statewide perspective, we're not far from where we believe Minnesota should be."

With deer populations above goal, Minnesotans can expect more permits to be handed out this year, as well. If you are hunting in Southeast Minnesota, make sure you are up-to-date on mandatory CWD testing.

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