Firearms deer hunting season opens - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Firearms deer hunting season opens


Rochester, MN (KTTC-TV) -- Deer hunters are gearing up for the first day of the shotgun season tomorrow. There are always a few good reminders every hunter should know before heading out.

For many deer hunters, you can't beat firearm season.

"It's a chance to get out in the woods, and to just get away from cell phones and computers and civilization, and to enjoy nature for a bit. And perhaps harvest a deer," says Don Nelson with the Rochester DNR.

The opener begins Saturday and hunters have been stocking up on their gear. Some are making it a family affair.

"I'm looking for some blaze orange for my daughter, who is going hunting this year, for the first time."

But there are few things you should make sure you're packing.

"Getting careless or getting complacent in a deer stand," says Nelson. "Make sure your stand is safe and securely tied to the tree. Use a safety harness."

A harness can cost you anywhere from $80 to $100, but its a precaution that could help save people from serious injury.

"The trend now is to go with the new styles; the vests that are a little bit easier to put on. And that's the biggest thing why people don't have a safety harness, is that they don't want to put it on because it's too hard, too difficult to try and find out all the straps," explains Gander Mountain's operations manager, Brant Schimmel.

As the weather drops in temperature, the proper attire is necessary to keep warm. Layers is always the best way to go, and of course hats and mittens.

"And under armor or a long underwear, put that on the base layer," says Schimmel. "Then once you get that on, then layer up with your jackets. There are lot of different parkas that are available, different thickness, some have a zip-out liner in them so you can have an outer shell."

Depending on where you go hunting...there are a few changes as well. Southeast Minnesota is in zone 3 and now is the only zone with 2 firearm seasons. Zone 1 and 2 begin their single, 9-day season tomorrow. The second season for zone 3 begins November 22nd and lasts for 9 days.

If you need more information on the deer hunt, firearm season, we have a link on our website to the DNR hunting page. Just go to

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