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Minnesota firearms deer opener just hours away

The DNR has a checklist that will help even veteran hunters prepare for a weekend in the woods.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota deer hunters are a resourceful and hearty bunch and will need to do things a bit differently this year, mainly by not bundling up in so many layers.

Temperatures should be extremely mild Saturday morning when the sun comes up on the 2020 firearms deer season. Depending on where you are, KARE 11 meteorologist Guy Brown says morning temps will start in the low-to-mid 50s, and reach near 70 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for a number of counties in southwestern Minnesota, and fire danger remains at higher levels in parts of the state. 

RELATED: Officials ask hunters to take COVID precautions during weekend deer opener

Even if you're a veteran hunter, reminders on being prepared never hurt. The DNR says this short list is a good guide for deer hunters. 

  1. Buy a license. It starts with deciding what deer permit area you will be hunting in; then buying the appropriate license.
  2. Know the regulations. Read up on the regulations for your deer permit area, including how to register deer and how harvested deer must be handled and transported in certain areas to help prevent the potential spread of disease.
  3. Know where your deer will be processed. If you plan to use a meat processor, contact them ahead of time to be sure they’re accepting whole deer from hunters this year. If you plan to butcher your own deer, you must properly dispose of the carcass (head and spinal column).
  4. Be safe. Practice the four tenets of firearms safety, know how to set up and use the tree stand safely, wear a safety harness and wear blaze orange clothing.
  5. Take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Follow precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including staying home if feeling sick, minimizing stops when traveling to deer camp, washing hands often, keeping a 6-foot distance, and wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and businesses and in other indoor or outdoor settings if you can’t maintain physical distance from those outside of your immediate household.
  6. Get deer tested if hunting in designated areas. Invest in the health of Minnesota’s wild deer by participating in CWD testing where it is provided. Find out if the DNR is conducting sampling in the area where you plan to hunt and find out how to submit a sample.
  7. Enjoy the hunt! Have fun, make memories and keep the tradition alive. Share deer camp and deer hunting photos directly with the DNR or on your social media accounts using the hashtag #DeerCampMN.

Find the full list and supporting hunter resources on the DNR's deer hunting page.

One more reminder... the heat source you use to keep that deer camp cabin or shack warm can be dangerous, even deadly if it is not used regularly. Minnesota Energy Resources reminds hunters to check that furnaces or heaters are operating properly, as carbon monoxide can be a byproduct of a heat source that isn't working. Hunters are urged to:

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors inside their cabins, or check existing detectors to ensure they are working properly.
  • Check heating vents, flues and chimneys, and clear them of any animal nests or debris.
  • Never use a portable electric generator indoors.

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