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Minnesota firearms deer season opens Saturday

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota's firearms deer season opens Saturday, and wildlife managers say it should be a good one.

Minnesota's white tail deer population is about 1 million. The Department of Natural Resources expects this year's harvest to be in line with the 207,000 deer taken last year. The peak harvest was 290,000 in 2003 after a succession of mild winters.

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The DNR says most of the state's corn crop likely will be harvested by the opener, which is important because standing corn provides cover to deer and can hurt a hunter's chance of success.

Nearly 500,000 hunters are expected to test their skills and luck during the season, which ends in northern Minnesota Nov. 20 and the rest of the state Nov. 13. A special season in southeastern Minnesota runs Nov. 19-27.

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