Dawn on Saturday, Nov. 4 marks the start of firearms deer opener. It's a day when, according to the DNR, half a million hunters will take to the Minnesota woods early in the morning on Nov. 4, with the season opening a half hour before sunrise.
The DNR reports that deer numbers are up over previous years, and just about any Crosslake and Whitefish Chain Area resident will tell you that there have been many more deer around recently. The DNR is predicting that this year the state will have a higher total harvest number than in previous years, estimating that around 200,000 deer will be taken across the state.
According to sunrise-sunset.org, the sun will rise at 8:04 on Saturday, Nov. 4. As of Oct. 31, the weather forecast was for rain and snow the morning of deer hunting opener with a high of 37 that day... but as we all know, Minnesota deer hunters are hardy! No matter what the weather, deer hunting promises to be an exciting and fun season.
Find all the information you need about regulations and more on the DNR deer hunting website. Licenses can be purchased online or at nearly any Whitefish Chain Area gas station, grocery store and convenience store.
This year is unique in that chronic wasting disease testing will be mandatory for the first two days of firearm deer season in the areas around the Whitefish Chain. The testing comes as a result of farm-raised deer testing positive for CWD at a farm near Merrifield. If you bag a deer Nov. 4 or 5, the closest locations to have your deer tested are at the Emily Volunteer Fire Department or the Cass County Fairgrounds. Testing sites are open 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Field dress your deer as normal and bring it to the testing collection site, where lymph nodes from the neck will be removed. If you register your deer ahead of time, you can also bring just the head plus four inches of neck to the testing site. Have your license ready.
Hunters won't be individually notified of test results unless tests come back positive. Learn more about the testing on the DNR's website. Testing only takes a few minutes. The Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance reports that there is currently no evidence that CWD poses a threat to humans, however, people are recommended against eating deer that are known to have the disease.
A few area cafes traditionally open early for deer hunting, specifically Pine Peaks on CR 66 in Crosslake. Stop by for an early breakfast before heading out to your stand, or check out any of the area's fantastic restaurants for lunch or a celebratory dinner after you bag your buck!