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Third highest harvest at Camp Ripley bow hunt

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

-- Archers harvested 220 deer and took eight bucks that weighed more than 200 pounds each at the second two-day hunt at Camp Ripley Oct. 30 and 31.

Those deer, coupled with the 287 taken during the Oct. 21 and 22 hunt, represent the third highest harvest at the Camp Ripley bow hunts. The four-day total of 507 deer is about 64 percent above the long-term average harvest of 310 deer for the two hunts, and only nine fewer than the record 516 deer taken in 2008.

"Excellent weather helped hunters achieve a near record harvest and to take 28 bucks that weighed more than 200 pounds," said Beau Liddell, Little Falls Area wildlife manager. "The overall harvest and large buck harvest are both well over average, so this was an excellent hunt by any measure."

A total of 5,002 permits were issued for both two-day hunts, with 4,294 hunters participating. Hunter success during the first hunt was 13 percent (3 percent above average), and during the second hunt was 10 percent (1 percent above average). The success rate was just above 11.5 percent for the two hunts, which is nearly identical to last year and 2.5 percent higher than the long-term average of 9 percent.

For the seventh year running, hunters at Camp Ripley were allowed to take up to two deer and to use bonus permits to increase harvest on antlerless deer.

The proportion of antlerless deer taken at Camp was 3 percent higher than last year and much higher than the long-term average of 55 percent, with about 63 percent of this year's harvest comprised of does and fawns.

The largest buck, taken by Adam Breth of Moorhead during the second hunt, weighed 232 pounds. Scott Cavanaugh of Random Lake, Wis., harvested the largest doe, weighing 128 pounds. Other hunters who harvested large bucks were Roy Paumen, Annadale, 231 pounds; Gregory Guck, Pierz, 228 pounds; Randy Porter, Foley, 225 pounds; Paul Tomala, Mahtomedi, 213 pounds; Adam Anderson, St. Cloud, 211 pounds; Vance Gertken, Bagley, 207 pounds; and Chad Fuller, Roseau, 203 pounds.

The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event which the DNR coordinates with the Department of Military Affairs which manages the 53,000 acre reservation.

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