Minnesota Deer News

... confessed to killing and transporting 13 deer illegally. Walz said that the deer were taken in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge or the Sand Dunes State Forest to the south...

Deer hunters asked to consider copper vs. lead August 24, 2015 Minnesota, SC Times
... “If we wish to continue our image as hunters, as conservationists, we should not be causing collateral damage in connection to deer hunting,” ... fragmented lead can wind up in venison...

Minnesota deer poacher loses hunting privileges for three years August 24, 2015 Rick Kupchella's-Bring MeTheNews
... A scheme to take home more deer than he was legally allowed has landed a Zimmerman, Minnesota, man on probation for two years – and a loss of his hunting privileges for three years...

Local deer numbers similar to 2014 August 24, 2015 Minnesota, Fergus Falls Daily Journal
... deer numbers are up in general in the northwest region of Minnesota ... After several harsh winters, the DNR has been taking a conservative approach to deer management...

On his own land, lion hunter is tough on poaching August 20, 2015 Minnesota, The Bulletin
... Long before he was accused of poaching an African lion named Cecil, Walter Palmer was stalking suspected poachers on his private hunting land ... Over the years, Stetz and his friends and relatives would wrangle with Palmer over property lines, deer stands and trails of deer blood...

Five state parks offering youth deer hunts August 10, 2015 Minnesota, Crow River Media
... Five area state parks are offering youth-mentored deer hunts this fall ... Youth ages 12-15 may apply for one of these special firearms youth deer hunts...

Re-examining the hunt after the slaying of Cecil August 7, 2015 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... It is legal to bait deer in Wisconsin, but illegal and considered unethical in Minnesota. Yet deer baiting in Minnesota has become one of the most common violations during deer season... How about sitting in a deer stand with a rifle capable of killing a deer at 150 or 200 yards? ... 

Conservative deer season August 7, 2015 Minnesota, messagemedia.co
...  management continues to rebuild deer numbers across much of the state ... In 70 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas ...

NRRI researcher looks at liver fluke impact on deer and moose August 4, 2015 Minnesota, Northland's NewsCenter
... researching the complex lifecycle of liver fluke ... research shows that parasites don't have much effect on deer, but severely scar the liver and lungs of moose...

More deer seen after milder winter August 1, 2015 Minnesota, DL Online
... Mid-summer reports from wildlife managers around the state place the overall deer population recovery on solid footing ... Last winter brought mild temperatures and little snow... Abundant spring and early summer rainfall has provided excellent summer deer forage ... 

White tail adults are pretty cool, too July 31, 2015 Minnesota, Worthington Daily Globe
...  white tail deer were hunted down to a U.S. population of only about 300,000. Today with proper management they now number in the range of 30 million.  The smallest of these lives in Florida, and as we move to the northern part of their range, which is Minnesota and Canada, they get bigger... about 70 percent of the bucks get harvested every year in the farmland zones of Minnesota...

Minnesota's deer population appears to be rebounding July 29, 2015 Minneapolis Star Tribune 
... restrict the harvest of does while continuing to build whitetail numbers ... officials project a fall kill of 140,000 to 155,000 animals. Last season, hunters killed 139,442 whitetails, the fewest in at least 25 years...

Moose takes up residence near busy U.S. 10 July 27, 2015 Minnesota, TwinCities Pioneer Press
... "We named her Lucy -- Lucy the moosey. She's been there over three months," ... DNR aerial surveys show the state's moose population has dropped from 8,840 in 2006 to 3,450 this year...  with the drastic decline in the state's moose population, people are especially concerned and interested in Lucy...

... A shotgun deer harvest ... to remove up to 80 deer from the park...  the harvest has been conducted six times in the past 20 years; the most recent one was in 2013...

This friendly doe kept coming around and playing with the family dog on their property in Minnesota, United States. Looks like we've got an amazing animal friendship in the making! - July 15, 2015



Groups seek Endangered Species Act protection for Midwest moose July 9, 2015 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... Citing the dramatic decline in moose numbers in Minnesota — down 60 percent in less than 10 years — the Center for Biological Diversity and Honor the Earth said it was time for the feds to lend their help in the big animal’s rescue and recovery...

Bemidji accepting applications for special deer hunt June 30, 2015 Minnesota, Bemidji Pioneer
... The Bemidji Special Archery Deer Hunt, which began in 2005, has become an annual form of wildlife population control after the city received numerous complaints from residents...

DNR approves new deer population goals June 21, 2015 Minnesota, messagemedia.co
... Of the 40 deer permit areas with new goals, 26 will be managed for deer densities higher than those established by the previous goals; eight will be managed at similar densities to former goals; and six will be managed for densities below former goals...

... this has been an ongoing program in the regional parks for the past 20-plus years to manage the white-tailed deer population densities through winter aerial surveys and maintaining the deer population densities between 15-20 deer per square miles ...

Minnesota DNR approves new deer population goals June 10, 2015 Valley News Live 
...  85 percent of the 40 areas will be managed for populations higher than those experienced in 2014; the remaining will see no change... With respect to the four advisory team recommendations not accepted by the DNR, the agency chose more moderate population increases ... 
     DNR sets deer population goals, despite objections June 10, 2015 Minnesota, SC Times 
... In the DNR goal-setting process, citizen advisory teams weren't allowed to make recommendations for population increases of more than 50 percent. The Deer Hunters Association argued that in many cases, population increases of greater than that amount were warranted...

DNR plans GPS elk study in northwest Minnesota June 7, 2015 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald
... launching a study next winter to fit 20 elk in northwest Minnesota with GPS collars to learn more about the animals' home ranges and habitat preferences... you put a collar on an animal, and you're 24 hours a day in contact with that animal ...

Deer hunters seek $19 million to save forest June 6, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... The conversion of thousands of acres of central Minnesota’s pine forests to potato fields has sparked environmental concern... the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) is proposing a novel and ambitious $19 million plan to buy about 10,000 acres of forest from Potlatch Corp. in Cass, Wadena and Hubbard counties to prevent their conversion to cropland ...

To save moose, coalition spends millions on habitat May 22, 2015 Minnesota, mprnews.org
... The number of moose in Minnesota has fallen to 3,450, down from 4,350 in 2014, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. Since 2006, the moose population has dropped by 60 percent...  a coalition of groups is spending nearly $3 million to restore the animal's habitat ...

Owatonna moves forward with another city deer hunt May 21, 2015 Minnesota, southernminn.com
... The hunt as described to the council would be similar to last year’s, in which bow hunters received licenses to hunt deer in a number of city parks from preset locations... In prior years, the city attempted to cull deer populations within the city using police sharpshooters, but didn’t have much success...

As moose population dwindles, agencies work to give them a fighting chance May 20, 2015 Minnesota, Northland's NewsCenter 
... Experts say it's not quite clear what's causing this drop, but are blaming forest fires, warmer temperatures, and a number of diseases...

Minnesota family finds success raising elk on farm May 16, 2015 TwinCities Pioneer Press
...  Luckyland sells elk in quarters, halves and full portions at about $4 per pound at hanging weight... "I had really enjoyed hunting for elk while living in Bozeman, Mont. -- but actually at the time, I had no idea people raised elk," ...

Community, students team up to track deer collared last year May 14, 2015 Minnesota, ABC Newspapers 
... With donations from the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association ...  the school was able to purchase a GPS collar to track the deer’s movements... She is limping with a broken right leg.  “It’s amazing how tough deer are,” ...

... Minnesota Deer Hunters Association is proposing a Crow Wing River Watershed habitat project, with hopes to acquire Potlatch Corporation lands and open the property to the public for hunting and recreational opportunities...

Should worst Minnesota poachers be charged with felonies? May 8, 2015 Minneapolis Star Tribune
... A trophy 8-point buck deer. was recently shot by bow and arrow hunter ... Gov. Mark Dayton pushed a bill last week in the Legislature calling for more stringent penalties and longer license revocations ...

Moose Are Dying in Horrible Ways Due to Climate Change May 8, 2015 Minnesota, Motherboard
... In Northeast Minnesota, moose numbered about 8,000 a decade ago. Today, that number is roughly 3,500. As new evidence unspools, one clear thread has emerged: in years of warmer, shorter winters, the moose are plagued by health problems. It’s a trend that can be seen across the United States...

VNP moose numbers appear stable May 5, 2015 Minnesota, The Journal 
... Voyageurs National Park wildlife biologists have completed an annual moose survey and found continued apparent stability in the low-density population in the park...  the 2015 population estimate for the Kabetogama Peninsula at 46 moose, similar to estimates from 2009-2014 of 40 to 51 moose...

Minnesota DNR's deer management to be audited May 3, 2015 Duluth News Tribune
... the auditor’s office listed three possible “evaluation issues” ... 1. How does the DNR estimate and monitor Minnesota’s deer population ... How does the DNR establish the state’s deer population goals ... 3. To what extent do the DNR’s deer population goals reflect an appropriate balance between stakeholder interests?...

Arboretum fences deer out to protect research May 1, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
...Researchers have used deer fences at the site for years and have found them to be the most effective way to keep deer away, he said. Though older electric fencing is still used at the center, newer fences are made of woven wire meshes, and have openings large enough to let smaller animals like wild turkeys through....

... If we look at the issue of “how do these methods compare with other states,” the assumption is being made here that “other states” do it right. Do they? Isn’t this an example of blind faith in a system designed for outcome-based wildlife management goals from others with little or no interest, and sometimes outright opposition to, managing deer for surplus harvest, i.e the interests of hunters? ...

Minnesota moose research halted by Gov. Dayton April 28, 2015 Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday put an end to Minnesota’s ambitious moose research project out of concern that it is harming the animals it’s designed to help. He said human handling of adults and calves when scientists collared them with GPS tracking devices resulted in too many deaths of the animals...

Now on endangered list, wolves are difficult to control April 27, 2015 Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio News
... The state Department of Natural Resources estimates there are about 2,400 wolves in Minnesota... Our deer population is down, we've had some rough winters, and wolves have to eat, of course ...

Minnesota deer management facing new scrutiny April 26, 2015 TwinCities Pioneer Press
... The Minnesota legislature's non-partisan watchdog will scrutinize how the state manages its deer population ... The news is a victory for many of the state's roughly 500,000 deer hunters who have seen the deer population -- and their hunting fortunes -- fall steeply in the past two years ...

Don’t blame wolves for fewer moose April 22, 2015 Minnesota, Timberjay Newspapers
... “Brain worm is certainly one of the large factors but not the only factor. Deer and habitat are the two biggest factors ... Deer are the source of the brain worm parasite which is benign in that species but can be fatal to infected moose. The high deer population also supports a large wolf population, which prey on moose, particular the young during calving season.” ... MNR Kenora district biologist Bruce Ranta ...

Legislative auditor will examine Minnesota's deer population management April 22, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Minnesota’s deer population management program will be audited this year by the state’s Legislative Auditor — a move pushed by some deer hunters critical of the Department of Natural Resources deer management...

Deer Population Management April 20, 2015 Minnesota, Office of the Legislative Auditor
... From 1970 through 2000, deer population strategies generally aimed to increase populations in the state’s deer permit areas. This resulted in a greater number of deer and increased concern over their negative impacts. Goals since the early 2000s often sought to reduce deer populations.  Since then, the annual number of deer harvested has followed a decreasing trend with a high of 290,525 in 2003 and a low of 139,442 in 2014... Assessing DNR’s deer population estimates would require some technical expertise. ... such an analysis could be premature at this time...

Two Men Drag Their Way Across Frozen River to Rescue Deer April 15, 2015 Minnesota, OutdoorHub
...  the ice on Minnesota’s Red Lake River was more like slush than anything solid when this deer fell through recently.

Deer hunters group and DNR clash over deer population goals April 14, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Engwall fired off another letter Monday to McInenly and DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “We are significantly disappointed in how the goal-setting process has evolved,” he wrote.  The written exchanges between the DNR and the deer hunters group are posted on the MDHA’s website, www.mndeerhunters.com ...

Under Bill, 84-Year-Old Could Get Another Shot at a Deer April 13, 2015 Minnesota, AM 1240 WJON 
... A provision tucked in House Republicans’ budget bill for environmental and natural resource agencies would allow hunters 84 and older to kill a doe without a permit...

North to deer country... April 11, 2015 Minnesota, Herald Review
... in 1960, the state’s record deer harvest was in 1959 when 200,102 resident firearms hunters took 104,335 deer for a 53% success rate. He also said that the take was mostly in the north as southern Minnesota had very few deer and that up North anything that was brown was down...

Woodland caribou populations continue downward trend April 11, 2015 Minnesota, DL-Online
... most of the northern third of Minnesota once harbored these gorgeous and gregarious members of the deer family ... historic caribou trails can still be observed crisscrossing through the Big Bog adjacent to the Red Lakes ... The last known caribou from this part of Minnesota are thought to have disappeared by the 1930s and perhaps lingering into the 1940s...

Audit likely after hunters challenge DNR April 9, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... A vote Friday by a Legislative Audit Commission subcommittee is expected to move a DNR deer audit plan forward ... Estimating deer herd size is at crux of dissatisfaction ...  hunters say DNR management is also to blame for the decline [in deer harvest] ...

Deer hunters group says DNR's deer population review is seriously flawed April 5, 215 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... “The DNR refused to allow teams to make recommendations for population increases above 50 percent ... If a group couldn’t get the 80 percent supermajority, it would officially have no recommendation,” ... Craig Engwall, executive director of the 15,000-member Minnesota Deer Hunters Association ...

2015 Deer Goal Setting Background on Advisory Team Process and Recommendation Development [PDF] April, 215 Minnesota, dnr.state.mn.us
... In 2013, Minnesota DNR initiated a new public process to revisit deer population goals in
Southeast Minnesota. The new process emphasized collection of public input (mail surveys, online questionnaires and public meetings) prior to convening stakeholder advisory teams selected to represent the diversity of perspectives related to deer management...

... The comment period runs from Thursday [April 2] through April 15.. [comment on the DNR website.]

Deer Rescued From River In Crookston April 2, 2015 Minnesota, WDAZ 
...  lucky deer will live another day after falling into the ice-covered Red Lake River thanks to first responders in Crookston... Saving deer isn't a common job for the department, but they tell us they have the training so it was a no-brainer to help...

... the panel's recommendations: Permit area 180, no consensus; permit area 122, 25 percent increase; permit area 127, no change; permit area 117, no change; permit area 126, no consensus...

Should worst Minnesota poachers be charged with felonies? March 31, 2015 Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Gov. Mark Dayton ... wants a new felony-level penalty for poachers who take fish or game valued at $2,000 or more, citing two recent high-profile poaching cases... 

Duluth, Final summary for 2014 Duluth city deer hunt March 28, 2015 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... Total registered harvest for the 10 years the hunt has been held (2005-2014) is 5,201. That includes 4,374 antlerless deer (84 percent)...

Mild winter should help boost deer population March 28, 2015 Minnesota, messagemedia.co
...  If mild conditions persist, those conditions combined with a conservative 2014 deer harvest could signal the start of a rebound in the state’s white-tailed deer populations... Following the two consecutive severe winters of the late 1990s, the deer population rebounded to pre-severe winter levels within two to three years ...

Dayton calls for felony-level penalties against poachers March 27, 2015 Minnesota, San Francisco Gate 
... Gov. Mark Dayton wants to crack down on poachers with tougher criminal penalties and longer license revocations ... a new felony-level penalty ...

Comments Accepted on Proposed Minn. Deer Population Goals March 24, 2015 Minnesota, KSTP.com
... Comments on 40 of the state’s 128 deer permit areas will be accepted April 2-15 on the DNR website. The goals were recommended by citizen advisory teams in those deer permit areas ...

Mild winter's timing could not have been better for deer March 22, 2015 Minnesota, wadenapj.com
... After two straight winters of of tough conditions, the winter of 2014-2015 got off to an early and chilly start ... in the second week of March hollered "spring." ... Schultz is expecting good deer reproduction this spring...

Fight EHD during Drought Conditions with Clean Water March 20, 2015 Minnesota, Banks Outdoors
... With droughts forecasted for the upper Midwest, Southwest and Pacific Northwest, a clean water source for deer is more important than ever to fight the risk of EHD... spread by a small, flying insect called the midge. For more information on the disease, read Can We Prevent EHD? ... 

Listen to the people; protect wolves March 19, 2015 Minnesota, SC Time
... Former Wisconsin DNR biologist Adrian Wydeven stated, "Wolves are not driving deer numbers down to dangerous levels. The biggest factor that affects our deer herd are winters and the hunting harvest. When wolves have established themselves, deer are going to be more elusive...

Nohre talks state of local deer herd March 18, 2015 Minnesota, Echo Press
... We need a real accurate survey done on the deer herd in the state of Minnesota... We’ve got a lot of members that put in food plots. We’re getting probably 1,600 pounds of seed corn, 1,100 pounds of soybeans and I think about 500 pounds of sunflowers...

Roseville council to consider wildlife feeding ban March 17, 2015 Minnesota, Lillie News
... “The recommendation we have is that the council should continue to inventory and monitor the deer population [and] develop ... a comprehensive wildlife ordinance that would introduce a wildlife feeding restriction,” Newby said ...

Hastings firefighters rescue deer from Mississippi River March 15, 2015 Minnesota, Hastings Star Gazette 
... The deer was attempting to get out of the water, but was unable to get back on top of the ice.  Three firefighters used a boat ... the deer panicked at first, Schutt said, but settled down when he realized they were trying to help him...

... At  the urging of a statewide deer hunting group, wildlife officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have agreed to write a deer management plan and manage the state’s deer herd with a specific harvest goal in mind...  we can’t control is weather, which is the biggest factor in deer population numbers ...

Good news for deer numbers March 7, 2015 Minnesota, Virginiamn 
...  this year’s mild winter will benefit the northern Minnesota deer population... The winter of 2014 was ranked by the National Weather Service as the second most severe on record, topped only by the winter of 1875 ... five of the last seven years have been hard, and that the winter of 2014 wiped out a number of deer already in trouble... last year we didn’t have any fawns,” ...

Minnesota Data:  Deer numbers are generally up a little in 2015 after a mild winter and good spring and summer rain producing deer forage.  Fawn survival is higher.  About 900,000 to one million wild deer in 2013 - 2010, up slightly in 2012 from better weather and hunting restrictions in some parts of the state, but down in 2013 and 2014 from severe winter, worst in the north. Another conservative hunt for 2015 with reduced tags to allow the population rebound to continue.  In 70 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas  
     The MDNR reduced deer tags for 2014 to boost the herd and imposed bucks only hunting in the northeast. Deer density dropped to 5.6 deer per square mile around Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in the northwest - target of 15 to 20 per square mile.  After pressure from hunting groups, emergency deer feeding began in March of 2014 for the northern part of the state, the first time since 1989 based on a legislative bill.  The 2013 deer harvest was the lowest in a decade. Anterless deer permits were reduced to grow the herd.  
     The harvest peaked in 2003 at 290,000 during a time of liberal hunting regulations. Some believe too many deer were killed then, resulting in the decline of the past 10 years, bringing the population down to 1970 levels.  The 2014 harvest is expected to fall below 150,000, the lowest number since 1997.  Hunter success was 31.1% in 2013 with about an equal number of bucks and does taken.  Statistics  Hard winters have taken a toll on the upper Minnesota herd with five hard winters out of the seven prior to 2015.  There was little fawn survival in 2014 which was the second most severe on record. 
    After over hunting during the 1960's, the deer season was closed in 1971 allowing the herd to recover.  For much of the 1970 to 1990's, the DNF focused on increasing the deer population.  The legislature approved rules for emergency winter deer feeding when about 30 percent of the herd died in the severe winter of 1995-96 and an additional 8 percent died in '96-97, 50 cents from each license for deer feeding.  About 500,000 deer hunters. .A whitetail's home range is about one square mile. Adult males weight about 170 pounds, adult females about 145. 
     Moose  The state's moose population dropped from a peak of about 8,800 in 2006 to an estimated 4,230 to 2,760 between 2012 and 2013 -- 3,450 based on an aerial survey reported in early 2015.  Biologists are studying the cause of the decline.   The population in the northeastern corner of the state peaked at 8,840 in 2006. By then they had already largely disappeared from the northwestern corner of Minnesota. Elk were abundant prior to extermination by European immigrants in the late 1800's.  Caribou were abundant in the northern part of the state but were hunted to extinction by the 1930's and 40's.
     Wolves  An estimated 2,221 wolves in 2015, 2,423 in 2014, 2,211 in 2013. The 2012-13 winter survey estimated a range of 1,652 to 2,641 wolves, compared to the 2007-08 estimate of 2,200 to 3,500. 


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Paul Telander, DNR Wildlife section chief shares his insight on managing Minnesota's deer herd in 2014. - January 9, 2014