A year ago in mid November in Central Minnesota we had 4 inches of snow on the ground, high temperatures were in the teens and ice was forming on area lakes.  We are a far cry from that in November of 2023 with temps in the 40s, 50s and 60s this week, no snow on the ground and open water fishing continues.

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Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says local lakes by November 20 of last year were ice covered but no one was fishing them yet.  Schmitt recalls there being 3 to 5 inches of ice on upper Red Lake on November 20, 2022 and people were ice fishing there.  The first ice fishing show of the season is this weekend in Blaine.  Schmitt says the seminars and booths are a great way to learn some of the new techniques and see the new gear for the season.  Schmitt is still open water fishing and because of the warmer than normal temperatures, he's seeing plenty of company on area lakes.

photo - courtesy of Glen Schmitt
photo - courtesy of Glen Schmitt

Numbers are in through the 2nd weekend of the firearms deer hunting season.  Schmitt says after opening weekend harvest numbers were down 13%, some ground was gained last weekend.  He says after Sunday the total deer harvested is down 5% compared to last year at this time.  The DNR is reporting a total of 106,500 deer shot in the first 9 days of the firearms season.  Schmitt says northern and northeast Minnesota saw the biggest decline in deer harvested.  He says both central Minnesota and southern Minnesota numbers are comparable to last year.

Schmitt also gave us an update on the fall turkey hunt, and duck hunting.  He expects to have final duck hunting numbers next week.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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