The clock is rapidly ticking toward Minnesota’s firearms deer opener Saturday morning, and if the weather forecasts are accurate, hunters shouldn’t have to worry about freezing. A look at the National Weather Service’s Saturday forecasts for Roseau, Crookston and Bemidji call for highs of about 40 degrees and skies ranging from partly sunny in Roseau to mostly cloudy with a “slight chance” of rain or snow in Crookston and Bemidji.
Whether that’s ideal hunting weather is a matter of opinion. One avid hunter, who also happens to be a big game biologist, told me last week that if he could order perfect deer hunting weather, he’d ask for an inch of snow the night before, a temperature of about 20 degrees throughout the day and no wind.
That could still be in the cards for North Dakota’s deer opener, which gets underway at noon Nov. 9, but it’s not very likely in Minnesota.
Regardless of Saturday’s weather, there appear to be enough deer on the landscape in Minnesota to provide decent hunting opportunities. In my frequent travels across northwest Minnesota, I’ve seen more deer in the past three weeks than I did all summer.
I’ll be in a deer stand Saturday morning, as well, but I’ll have a pen and notepad in hand rather than a rifle. I’ll be joining Stuart Bensen, who retired as a DNR conservation officer earlier this year, as he spends his first deer opener in more than 30 years not working. He’ll be mentoring a young deer hunter, and hopefully the piece that runs in Sunday’s Herald will include a storyline about a young person shooting their first deer.
We’ll find out in four days.