UNDATED -- Minnesota's firearm deer hunting season opens Saturday and for non-hunters, you may be wondering....what's the big deal?

Deer hunting is a way of life for many Minnesotans. It's a tradition that is passed down from generation to generation. It is deeply woven into the fabric of life here in the midwest. For example, there were 800-thousand deer hunting licenses and permits sold last year. More than 475-thousand hunters took those licenses into the woods in hopes of bagging that trophy buck or downing that doe.

There is no arguing deer hunting is big business. The economic impact to communities in greater Minnesota is significant. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, deer hunting was responsible for more than $260-million in retail sales last year. $33-million was collected in state and local tax revenue. And, the overall economic impact was estimated at more than $458-million.

Deer hunting supports jobs. The DNR says there is 5,300 directly supported jobs because of the whitetail season, many of those outside of the metropolitan areas.

Hunters may enjoy deer hunting because the numbers are plenty. Minnesota's deer population is estimated at about one-million. Last year, hunters harvested more than 207-thousand deer and the DNR says it should be another good year.

Minnesota businesses are counting on it.

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