Did you know there were years when the hunting season was actually closed in Minnesota? The last year may have even been in your lifetime.

The Minnesota Firearm Deer season is set to take place beginning on November 4th. It's a yearly tradition for many, passed on from generation to generation. Deer hunting is more than a sport, it's part of the culture of many Minnesota families.

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages the deer population using data and regulations. It comes from decades of experience with surveys and biologists. The modern framework for the deer hunting season took shape in the 1970s, but before that, there were actually times when they had to close the deer season.

Large white-tailed deer buck

Severe winters and overhunting caused low deer populations that caused the closure of several seasons in the early 1940s and again in 1951.

There was a deer population crash in the late 1960s in Minnesota. Deer population numbers went so low that the DNR canceled the season statewide in 1971. New management methods took shape, and fortunately, it so far is the last time the season was canceled in Minnesota.

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Different changes have occurred over the years in deer management. The antlerless lottery permit was introduced in the 1980s. The DNR started to designate permit areas as "lottery, managed, and intensive with bonus permits. Hunter's choice was added in 2011.

Some years the DNR has had to hold a "bucks only" statewide season because of particularly harsh winters. The seasons following the 1996-1997 brutal winter, and the 2013-2014 winter were bucks only.

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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn