Minnesota Deer News

Blaine students collar deer for research April 14, 2014 Minnesota, KARE-11.com
... The northern suburban Deer Hunters Association donated a $2,500 tracking collar for the project giving students a chance to follow the deer for the next two to three years...

Warmer temps end Minnesota's emergency deer feeding program April 12, 2014 Minnesota, Star Tribune, startribune.com
... Johnson [Minnesota Deer Hunters] estimated that 20 percent or more of the northern deer may have died... DNR officials didn’t support the emergency deer feeding. “Based on previous feeding efforts, there’s not a significant portion of the population that is reached,’’ ... Johnson still disagrees.  “Our position is, from an emergency standpoint, it’s a viable alternative, and a necessary alternative,’’ ...

Winter deer-feeding program ends this weekend April 12, 2014 Minnesota, TwinCities Pioneer Press 
... The thaw couldn't come soon enough for Minnesota's deer. Malnourished and dead deer were reported throughout the northern half of the state, as winter severity indices climbed to the highest levels in nearly a decade... the total amount spent will be just shy of $200,000.   But Johnson said reports from volunteers consistently tracked improvements in the deer they saw...

Conservation Officer Report: Deer Struggling April 9, 2014 Minnesota, WDIO-TV
...  Marty Stage (Ely) found dead deer in a lot of places throughout the week. The winter has been very hard on the deer and it’s likely to get worse for a little while. Keep your dogs restrained. The deer can’t take any more stress than they already have...

Long, hard winter has been tough on deer April 6, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... winter severity index (WSI) — used to predict winter’s impact to wildlife — is breaking records ... Until recently most of the dead whitetails Tom Rusch has encountered were fawns.  “Now we’re seeing and getting reports of adult deer starving, too,’’ said Rusch, DNR area wildlife manager at Tower in northeastern Minnesota...

Severe winters play key role in deer mortality April 6, 2014 Minnesota, Mining Journal 
... In recent years, deer abundance here has plummeted (now approaching 1970s levels) ... During a six-year study, I found that fawns and aged does comprised about 60 percent of the overwinter deer loses due to malnutrition and predation.  Although about 21 percent of the bucks wintering in my study area were yearlings, I found only one yearling buck among 124 dead deer identified to sex and age...

Hunting dogs and owners take up shed games April 5, 2014 Minnesota,  Minneapolis Star Tribune 
...  a dozen years or so ago, word spread among retriever owners particularly that the scent carried by antlers could alert dogs to their presence, even if covered by leaves or brush.  Perhaps predictably, bragging about whose dog could find antlers the quickest followed ...

Elk backers lobbying to increase herd in Minnesota April 4, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Though largely a mountain animal now, more than 10 million elk roamed the United States and parts of Canada before white settlement ... The continent’s elk population has dropped to about 1 million ... Pennsylvania ... The last native elk was shot there in 1877. But not long afterward, between 1913 and 1926, state game officials reintroduced the animals, transporting them from Yellowstone National Park ...

... It is week 5 of the Emergency Winter Deer Feeding Initiative and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) has purchased 110 tons of feed that was distributed Saturday.  This is an increase of 22 tons from last week....

... "Interestingly enough we're getting hunters that are giving ideas such as stop the season... maybe put a one or two year moratorium on the season ...

The Minnesota deer heard is dying. This young button buck is too week to stand. All his legs work, but he does not have the energy to move. He is starving to death.



Focusing on future of Minnesota's deer herd March 30, 2014 Mankato Free Press 
... The DNR will be reassessing population goals now through 2016. ... If you can't go Written comments on Minnesota's deer management plans still can be made by going to the DNR website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us and clicking on "Deer Listening Sessions." ...

Local hunter starts petition, saying deer population is too low March 27, 2014 Minnesota, Insurance News Net 
... Ellig said, he has had a hard time finding the animal that was so prevalent a decade ago ... The aggressive harvest in the early 2000s, Ellig claims, is what caused numbers to drop so low and is why less deer have been seen in the area...

Officials hope winter fades before whitetail feed runs out March 15, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Nearly 1,000 volunteers will have distributed about 660,000 pounds of feed for wild deer ... The Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge ... Officials counted 600 deer — a density of 5.6 deer per square mile, well below the goal of 15 to 20 deer per square mile  ...

Feeding the Deer: Volunteers Take to the Woods March 23, 2014 Minnesota, Virginiamn 
... recognition needs to be given to the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and it’s volunteers... approaching 1,000 volunteers who are coming together in several deer management areas to lend aid to one of God’s most amazing creatures....  the DNR  ... accept that there will be a significant number of animals lost, but believe the species will carry on through the most severe winters, without a questionably effective and costly feeding program...

Dogs threaten deer March 22, 2014 Minnesota, Aitkin Independent Age
...  winter stressed deer now face a serious threat from wolves ... Dog owners need to be especially watchful ... 97B.011 dogs pursuing big game – A person who observes a dog wounding, killing or pursuing in a manner that endangers big game may kill the dog ... between January 1 and July 14, if the person is not a peace officer ...

Deer numbers drop in northwest Minnesota March 21, 2014 Minnesota,  Brainerd Daily Dispatch
... Deer populations in Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding state lands in northwest Minnesota declined dramatically from last winter, results from a recent aerial survey show...  a density of 5.6 deer per square mile, Knutsen said, far below the refuge’s goal of 15 to 20 deer per square mile... 

Anderson: In some ways, deer population fix is up to hunters March 21, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
...  in many parts of the state there are too few deer, in part because weather bets DNR wildlife managers placed a few years back boomeranged. Bad as last winter was, particularly for northern whitetails, this winter is worse ...the agency doesn’t manage deer for maximum density — the land’s “carrying capacity’’ — but instead to levels it believes most everyone can live with ...

Minnesota deer rescue becomes hit for GoPro March 20, 2014 Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
... Businessweek, in a  feature on GoPro's growth [tiny durable cameras], leads off the story with the tale of a deer rescue in southeastern Minnesota. [video was posted below on February 18]

Emergency Deer Feeding March 19, 2014 Minnesota, WDIO-TV 
... "They're starting to see some die off. That's part of why we're doing this," said Brad Trevena of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.  Trevena says the deep snow and subzero nights have been especially hard...

Nature Matters: Is deer feeding making a difference? March 18, 12014 Minnesota, Northland's NewsCenter
... It's estimated that 12 to 16–thousand deer are being fed. Some will argue that's a drop in the bucket compared to the state deer herd size of a million ... the Minnesota DNR wants feeders to remember that whole corn is potentially fatal to deer...

MN deer feed distribution sites now operate from 8 AM to 12 PM March 15, 2014 Minnesota, Northland's NewsCenter 
... From the Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association:  Anyone can feed deer as long as you have access to a deer yard on public land, and have a good idea how many deer are there. Come to the distribution location closest to you on Saturday morning 8am-Noon, and we'll get the documentation we need and send you on your way with deer feed! ...

Fond du Lac Band mulls Elk restoration March 15, 2014 Minnesota, Brainerd Dispatch 
... elk were abundant and native to the area until they were shot out by the late 1800s as European immigrants settled the area... The first thing we need to do is a habitat study to see if the proper habitat is there for them to thrive... Illinois, West Virginia and New York currently are considering reintroducing elk...

DNR's missteps keep deer feeding controversy alive March 14, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
... 1989, a very severe winter, and a bill was passed early in the legislative session to allot $300,000 for deer feeding ... A subsequent DNR study said that while the state’s farmland deer benefited, northern deer were helped minimally... the severe winter of 1995-1996, in which $750,000 was allotted for emergency deer feeding. Legislators also established a special deer-feeding account that year, supported by 50 cents from each deer-hunting license...

Food for thought on deer feeding March 12, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
... Over the past 16 years Minnesota deer hunters have contributed about $5.5 million to an account originally intended to pay for emergency deer feeding to help whitetails survive winters.  Most of that money — $4.8 million — has been spent, but none on feeding deer, until now.  This month the Department of Natural Resources has allocated $170,000 from the account ...

Volunteers haul feed to help deer survive tough winter March 12, 2014 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
...  Feeding began last Thursday, when the first feed shipments were dropped at some of the eight distribution points across the region. Feeding will continue until the snow is gone... “At our other clearing, at any given time, there’s 150 deer,” Krueger said. “We’ve found four dead in the woods. They weren’t killed by wolves. It looked like they had starved.” ...

... The “Wolf Data Bill,” as it’s titled, also calls for an annual wolf population census and creation of an advisory wolf task force appointed by the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources...

... Deer hunters are invited to attend one of a series of listening sessions jointly hosted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA)...

Hunting Ammunition and Implications for Public Health [PDF] March, 2014  Minnesota,  Julia Ponder, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota 
... In 2008, food banks had to remove venison contaminated with lead from their shelves.
 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states there is no level of lead exposure in children known to be without adverse effects.  Based on these recognized health risks, MN, Wisconsin and North Dakota wildlife agencies and state health departments have recommended that pregnant women and children do not eat any game harvested with lead ammunition.  Additional human health studies are needed to determine the extent of ill health effects that lead ammunition is having...

Northern Minnesota deer feeding begins March 9, 2014 Duluth News Tribune
... About 28 tons were scheduled for pickup from Thursday through Saturday ... One volunteer said he was hauling feed to a site where 100 deer were yarded up, Johnson said. MDHA’s Jenny Foley said she spoke to a volunteer who planned to haul feed to a site where more than 300 deer were yarded ...

Fond du Lac Band mulls elk restoration March 9, 2014 Minnesota, Inforum
... Tribal leaders of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa have authorized the band’s natural resources staff to study the concept of reintroducing “omashkoozoog” in southern St. Louis, Carlton and northern Pine counties...  elk were abundant and native to the area until they were shot out by the late 1800s as European immigrants settled the area....

Has Minnesota TB Zone 101 feeding ban been lifted March 9, 2014 Grand Forks Herald
... The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources actually lifted the feeding ban Feb. 15, said John Williams, regional wildlife supervisor for the DNR in Bemidji...

... Mark Miller is president of the North American Shed Hunters Club (NASHC) based in Lyndon Station, Wis. He said that February is a good time to start looking for shed antlers, but that March is typically prime time ...

... Early Thursday morning, outside Widdes Feed and Farm Supply in Esko, dozens of cars and trucks could be seen loading up on specially formulated bags of deer feed before scattering throughout the Northland. "Some of them are hunters, some of them aren't hunters," said MN Deer Hunters Association Executive Director Mark Johnson. "It's... people who are interested in deer ...

...  After pressure from deer hunters, however, the DNR has provided $170,000 to purchase deer feed. This is the first incident that the state has sponsored an emergency deer feed since 1997 ... “We had a guy walk into our office yesterday and said, ‘I’ve got a warehouse you can use,’” ...

Dinner for deer: Emergency feeding program to begin March 5, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
... More than 200 volunteers with the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) will distribute the feed pellets over the next six weeks.  “If we feed about one pound of food per deer per week, we’re hoping to take care of about 20,000 deer for six weeks,’’ said Mark Johnson, MDHA executive director... People are enthusiastic about feeding deer, Johnson said. “The amount of recreational feeding is unbelievable,’’ ...

Emergency deer feeding could begin this week across Northland March 2, 2014 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
.... the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association ...  is working with a grant of $170,000 from the DNR earmarked for deer feeding, hoping to reach as many deer as possible until the snow recedes. The money comes from a 50-cent surcharge on deer licenses ... Deer permit areas eligible for deer feeding must be below population goals ...

Re-examining deer densities around Minnesota February 25, 2014 Minneapolis Star Tribune 
... A three-year process that began quietly last week at the Lake City High School auditorium ultimately will determine whether deer populations around the state are increased, decreased or left the same... Key to the process is the selection of a citizen advisory team for each region ... Names of the members are on the DNR’s website along with other details of the process ...

Saving Minnesota deer, then and now…  February 24, 2014  UpNorthExplorer.com: 
... For the second consecutive year our northern Minnesota deer herd is in trouble... The concept of “saving Minnesota deer,” and even the name, began right here in Grand Rapids during the incredibly harsh winter of 1968-69, in late January, to be exact, when a group of Grand Rapids hunters/conservationists/civic leaders “banged the drum” loudly on behalf of our dwindling deer herd.... [this year] Commissioner Landwehr reversed DNR’s stance against feeding ...

... many who spoke ... said the population is clearly down even in the southeast, an area of the state where population densities are higher than many areas... opinions ran the gamut, from self-described "meat hunters" who opposed the antler restrictions ...  to mature buck advocates who said they want season dates changed so deer aren't hunted during the rut, or fall mating season. ...

No DNR deer feeding in Ely area ...  February 21, 2014 Minnesota, Ely Echo 
... "We don't have anything hard on that but we're doing a lot of research here now," said Rusch. "But most moose managers feel any concentration of wintering moose and deer would be negative and would pass brain worm along. Can we make a direct correlation? No, not at this time." ...bRusch did say that NRRI is in the process of studying deer in the Ely area and in the moose range...

Minnesota deer feeding going forward February 20, 2014 Northland's NewsCenter
... Volunteers with the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association will pick up the feed, specialized alfalfa or barley pellets, to distribute across the region... That effort will take place until either funding runs out, or green up occurs...

Shed Hunting Dog Competition Continues to Grow February 19, 2014 Minnesota, outdoorlife.com 
... This year’s North American Shed Hunting Dog Association 2014 World Shed Dog Championship will be held April 12 and 13 in Northfield, Minn.  The NASHDA has grown to include three qualifying events ... qualifying events now held in Indiana and South Dakota...

Snow helps DNR staffers track deer from the sky February 18, 2014 Minnesota, St. Cloud Times
... The snow helps make the animals easily visible from the air. There has to be 6 inches of snow on the ground to even do the survey ... the deer population has been slowly trimmed since its peak in the 1990s...

James Kenison and his dad were tagged on a Facebook photo that showed three deer stuck in the middle of a frozen lake in Minnesota.The deer had been there for days! Lucky for the helpless deer, James decided to rescue them. And lucky for us, it was all caught on camera.James tells Susan Hendricks all about it - February 17, 2014



Volunteers rush to get feed to deer in Northland February 16, 2014 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... Volunteers with the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association could begin hauling deer feed to deer wintering areas as early as March 1 ... “It will be hauled out mostly by snowmobile,”  ... “We hope we’re not creating wolf feeding stations, but the wolves probably already know where the deer are, and we hope we’re making the deer a little stronger,” ...

Feed deer? Minnesota DNR will, with a sigh February 15, 2014 Minnesota,  Pioneer Press
...  three years of falling deer harvests and a fall that saw the fewest number of deer killed by hunters in a decade. ...  emergency deer feeding ... foisted on the DNR, really -- by the Legislature in 1997, following back-to-back severe winters that saw an estimated 30 percent of the herd perish in 1995-96 and an additional 8 percent die in '96-97... A pellet mixture will be used  ...Deer stomachs accustomed to woody food can't handle a sudden diet of corn; it can kill them...

DNR, MDHA to conduct deer listening sessions statewide February 14, 2014 Minnesota, DNR News Release
... The Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) will co-sponsor the meetings. Meeting dates and locations will be announced later this month.   We’ve been hearing from hunters who are concerned about current deer numbers and potential population impacts as a result of this winter,” said Paul Telander, DNR wildlife section chief. “These listening sessions provide an opportunity for direct interaction and communication.”  The sessions will be open to the general public. Anyone interested in deer management is encouraged to participate. In addition to the public sessions, comments will be accepted on the DNR’s deer management Web page.

Plight of Minnesota moose not so dire as believed February 14, 2014 Minneapolis Star Tribune
... This winter’s annual survey by the Department of Natural Resources found an estimated 4,350 — considerably more than the 2,760 reported last year, and about the same number that were counted in 2012... “The higher estimate this winter likely is related to ideal survey conditions rather than any actual increase in the population,” said Lou Cornicelli ...

Reluctant Minnesota DNR plans emergency deer feed February 13, 2014 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... The emergency feed will be distributed in areas that are below the DNR’s goal for deer population and that have a “winter severity index” — a measurement of deep snow and bitter cold nights that put deer at risk of starvation — of 100 or above... despite few deer reaching the food in 1997, the northern deer herd rebounded to its previous level within two years and rose to all-time record high populations within five years of the severe winters...

DNR to allow deer feeding February 12, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... In a turnabout some call “shocking,'' the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin emergency deer feeding in northern Minnesota ... The effort is expected to cost about $170,000, and will be the first time the DNR has fed deer since the winter of 1996-1997 ... the DNR wants to act “in good faith,’’ Telander said, with an emergency deer feeding account whitetail hunters have paid into for about 15 years with 50-cent license surcharges...

Deer Rescue in Minnesota - February 12, 2014



Southeast MN goal-setting meetings coming up February 7, 2014 Minnesota, Pioneer Press 
... With deer harvest numbers falling for several years, there’s discontent among many hunters, and a sizable campaign has begun to pressure the DNR to grow the population...

DNR to hold public meetings on southeastern deer population goals February 7, 2014 Minnesota, MN Department of Natural Resources -- News Releases ⋅
... “This first step in the DNR’s goal-setting process is designed so citizens can express their views on deer numbers and issues associated with deer management,” ... The meetings are scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Lake City Lincoln High School, 300 S. Garden St., and from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the St. Charles Elementary School auditorium, 925 Church Ave.  Beginning Monday, Feb. 10, people may visit www.mndnr.gov/deer for more information and background on the goal-setting process. They also may provide input on the goal-setting process and deer management by completing an online questionnaire. Written comments also can be mailed to: Leslie McInenly, DNR, Box 20, 500 Lafayette Road, Saint Paul, MN 55155.

DNR declines emergency winter deer feeding February 6, 2014 Minnesota, FOX 9 News 
... a tough winter ... local conservation groups that hoped the Minnesota Department of National Resources would help deer make it through are disappointed the agency won't. "This has been one of our more severe winters that we've had in several years," Wayne Johnson, of the Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association ...A total of 50 cents from each deer license sold is put in a special fund for emergency feeding and disease testing, but the last time the DNR approved winter feeding was 1998 ...

...  a solution to the issue of bald eagles eating lead bullet and shotgun slug fragments while scavenging for food.  Options for putting eagles on a lead-free diet include a mandatory ban on lead ammunition as well as a voluntary approach that lets hunters learn about non-lead alternatives such as copper bullets...

Minnesota deer debate: Too many or not enough? February 2, 2014 Duluth News Tribune 
...  “In most areas of the state, the population has sunk way below goal.” DNR officials had recognized the deer population was declining before last fall’s hunt and offered far fewer antlerless deer permits. But that wasn’t going to change deer numbers immediately.  “We’re working to recover the population,” said Jeff Lightfoot, DNR regional wildlife manager at Grand Rapids. “We need a little help from our winter weather.” ...

Winter Severity Index for deer creeps higher February 2, 2014 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... Minnesota's Winter Severity Index through Thursday indicates that, so far, this is shaping up to be a tougher-than-normal winter for deer... several DNR stations in northwestern counties already have surpassed the “severe” category ...



The tale of deer in Permit Area 178 February 2, 2014 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
...  for area 178 in 2007...  the pre-harvest population was estimated at 26 deer per square mile. But by last fall, the population had dropped to about 15 deer per square mile ... The goal-setting group for permit area 178 recommended DNR wildlife managers reduce the deer population about 25 percent ... With harder winters in the area, the DNR last fall returned to issuing antlerless permits more conservatively in order to increase deer numbers...

St. Peter, Deer becoming common sight in St. Peter backyards January 31, 2014 Minnesota, Mankatofreepress.com
... "Because of the proximity to the river, there's always lots of wildlife in that area and that includes deer," ... "We don't have any special rules against feeding deer," ... But it's not good to dump corn on the ground for them...

Duluth deer bowhunt harvest drops by 26 percent January 26, 2014 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... Hunters took a total of 399 deer in 2013, down from 574 in 2012. Last fall’s total was the lowest since the first year of the hunt in 2005, when hunters took 331 deer... Hunters in the city hunt are required to take at least one doe before taking a buck... 

Grand Rapids city deer hunt bags 106 January 24, 2014 Minnesota, Herald Review 
... The first special deer hunt conducted within the Grand Rapids city limits ... Deer populations outside the city have been declining in recent years, which has resulted in a more restrictive hunting season in most surrounding permit areas ...

How to ... find shed deer antlers January 24, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
...  the best places to find shed antlers are the north edges of fields in which the deer were feeding during the peak antler-shedding period. At night deer often bed in or close to these fields ... Daytime bedding areas are also good locations to find sheds. Concentrate your efforts in areas with a southern exposure...

... The Southeast Minnesota Chapter helps fund a number of other habitat projects each year by donating match dollars to Conservation Partners Legacy Program grants through the DNR...  Its annual banquet will be held Feb. 8 at Event's (formerly Digger's) in Kasson...

Deer inspires mom January 19, 2014 Minnesota, Aitkin Independent Age
... a three-legged doe hobbling through the yard with her fawn following close behind. ... they have been regular visitors to their yard...  She is a very special neighbor and inspires me to be the best mom I can be.” ...

... Following a fall in which hunters kill the fewest deer in more than a decade, the volume is rising among some quarters of Minnesota's deer hunting community calling for change... This fall, hunters killed roughly 171,000 deer, the third straight year of decline... "There's also concern that this is shaping up to be a severe winter, much like last winter turned out to be. I think a lot of hunters are worried about how many deer will survive." ...

DNR to fly deer and elk surveys, including Mille Lacs January 15, 2014 Minnesota, messagemedia.co 
... “In the transition zone between agricultural and forested lands, which generally stretches from the northwest to southeast across Minnesota, we use aerial surveys to recalibrate the deer population model,” said Gino D’Angelo, DNR farmland deer project leader...

Complaints over Minnesota's falling deer harvest grow louder January 14, 2014 Minnesota, StarTribune
... While there’s some agreement the deer population is too low, there’s plenty of disagreement over why. Last winter was hard on deer in the north, and this winter isn’t looking much better... the DNR’s deer density goal-setting process from 2005-07 ... Fifteen groups, each with about 20 citizens selected by the DNR, met with the agency, and it was decided to reduce deer densities substantially in many areas by liberalizing hunting regulations...

Deer plans need prompt consideration January 11, 2013 Minnesota, St. Cloud Times
... The bottom line is that we probably shot too many deer in the early 2000s, peaking with a record harvest in 2003 of more than 290,000 deer. Those types of numbers were in no way sustainable and deer numbers were actually reduced by design....Even some DNR officials admit that the foot should have been taken off the gas a few years earlier...

Minnesota Deer Density Goas - January 12, 2014



Deer decline a concern January 11, 2014 Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Minnesota’s 2013 deer harvest of 172,000 was the lowest in 15 years, and many hunters say that’s evidence of a lack of deer. A second consecutive tough winter in northern Minnesota could further reduce the population ...

DNR aim is satisfied deer hunters, healthy deer herd January 11, 2014 Minnesota,  Coon Rapids ECM Publishers
... Our goal is to provide a healthy, sustainable and abundant deer population. In practice, that means having a deer herd that creates satisfied hunters, provides good hunting and minimizes unwanted consequences for wildlife habitat, people and deer themselves. Our management approach factors in habitat and the impacts deer have on it, disease, land management and the desires of all Minnesotans...

Where did all the whitetails go? January 10, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
.... hunters in recent years have spent more time in the state’s woods and fields to bag a deer than they did when whitetails were more plentiful... the state’s deer herd might be even smaller than the DNR believes, because in its population models, harvest size correlates positively to herd size, with hunter effort gaining less consideration...

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



Owatonna mulls solutions to possible larger deer population January 8, 2014 Minnesota,  southernminn.com
... "We've got some calls and some concerns from residents about deer being a nuisance, jumping over fences and getting into shrubs and what not," said City Administrator Kris Busse …The city is leaning toward allowing an archery hunt ... The last hunt, done more than a year ago, used police sharpshootersr... “We’re living in rural Minnesota, and you’re going to have deer no matter what,”  [Parks and Recreation Director] ...

Snow, cold causing deer concerns January 5, 2014 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald 
... the early onset of winter comes on the heels of two of the lowest deer harvests in several years... “If we get more snow, there’s a real fear that’s going to drive the deer population even lower,” Johnson said. That could have serious implications on deer management ... 

Hunters across Minnesota saw a decline in deer January 4, 2014 St. Cloud Times
...  with the archery season wrapping up on Dec. 31, the numbers tabulated to date show that hunters shot 172,250 deer this past season. That’s a 6.5 percent decline from the previous year. and likely the lowest number of deer shot in Minnesota since 1998 when 158,854 were taken... hunter participation was nearly identical to 2012 ...

Elk a focus for revived MDHA chapter December 22, 2013 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald
A defunct chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association in Kittson County is reorganizing, and members say they'll be focusing on elk ... More than 150 Kittson County residents signed a petition last summer asking the DNR to expand the elk population and reduce the number of hunting permits it issues ...

Heavy snow causing deer concerns December 21, 2013 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald 
... “If we get more snow, there’s a real fear that’s going to drive the deer population even lower,” Johnson said. That could have serious implications on deer management ... “Last winter was a long winter that hurt the deer,” ...

May be fewer deer out there December 18, 2013 Minnesota,  messagemedia.co
...  each year the department estimates the deer population at around one million yet the harvest goes down each year ... Many are saying they did not get “their” deer or were not even seeing deer. There are around 500,000 licensed deer hunters ...

Farmers buck deer hunting rules December 18, 2013 Minnesota, Winona Post
... Many hunters and farmers attended the meeting to give their feedback on the DNR’s Antler Point Restriction (APR) regulations... APR critics argue that the rule has instead back-fired and that deer populations, and the crop damage they cause, are on the rise...

Deep snow and bitter cold already affecting northern Minnesota deer December 15, 2013 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
...  not encouraged by what he's hearing from county foresters in the region. "They said the deer are pushing snow," Johnson said. "That's a good indication that it's going to be a tough winter for deer."  Northeastern Minnesota's deer population had already declined over the past few years, partly due to some harsh winters ...

Final tally: Deer harvest down 25% December 13, 2013 Minnesota, Ely Echo
...  Deer numbers go up and down with the severity of winters. Winters, and particularly snow depth, is the number one factor affecting deer mortality in Northeastern Minnesota according to long-term deer research done in Northern Minnesota. This was the most exhaustive (15 year) winter deer mortality study ever done in North America*. Timber wolves get the blame, but ... Even with low wolf populations in the late 1960s and 70s our deer population was at historic lows due to a string of severe winters...

... Krantz stated the dog reappeared with another dog a few moments later, and from her deer stand, Krantz fired her rifle and shot the dog in the head instantly killing her. Krantz then shot the second dog in the leg, and when she stepped off of her deer stand, shot the dog in the chest killing that animal too...

Minnesota firearms season deer harvest down December 9, 2013 BayInsider 
... Steve Merchant, the DNR's wildlife population and regulations manager, said a lower deer population is likely the main reason hunters haven't fared so well, though the weather was a factor, too... Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, concurred that the lower deer population is the main factor in the lower harvest ...  the DNR is likely to respond to that by reducing the antlerless harvest...

Preliminary 2013 deer harvest numbers released December 9, 2013 Minnesota, MDNR
Minnesota hunters harvested 164,550 deer during 2013, according to preliminary numbers announced by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Through the beginning of December, firearms hunters harvested 144,000 deer, a 6 percent drop from the 153,000 harvested in 2012. Preliminary numbers for the late season in southeastern Minnesota show hunters harvested 4,400 deer, down from the 5,000 harvested in 2012.

Smaller deer harvest should lead to higher population December 1, 2013 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... The deer population was down, DNR biologists said, after a series of moderate to severe winters that probably resulted in adult deer dying and fewer fawns born last spring. The DNR reduced antlerless permits this fall in hopes of saving does and increasing the population in coming years...

Carcass dumped on roadside tarnishes all who hunt deer  December 1, 2013 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... I came across the deer carcass in the usual place again this year... well within the city of Duluth... A head. Part of a backbone. The rib cage ... For many who will pass this way, the deer carcass — fair or unfair — represents the great American deer hunter...

Harvest numbers down as deer gun season comes to a close November 29, 2013 Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio
...  Statewide, the deer harvest is down 7 percent this year ... hunters registered 143,000 deer during the regular firearms season.  They expect hunters to take an additional 4,500 deer by the end of the late firearms season ... especially down in northeast Minnesota this year. Twenty-five percent fewer does were killed ... 

A hunter's perspective on killing wolf November 26, 2013 Minnesota, The Caledonia Argus 
... I used to be a member of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) ... I have always had great pride in the Minnesota’s grey wolf population; wolves make the wilderness alive and healthy... For those of you that feel comfortable because the DNR is managing it, take a look at the moose, it’s facing extinction in Minnesota...

Rare 8 Point Doe Shot in Minnesota November 25, 2013 Outdoor Life Magazine (blog)
... the first oddity the doe presented as the deer's velvet should have been long gone by November... The cause of this anomaly is an overabundance of testosterone...

Firearms deer harvest down 6 percent from 2012 November 20, 2013 Minnesota, MDNR News
     Minnesota hunters harvested 128,814 deer through the second weekend of the 2013 firearms season, according to preliminary numbers announced Nov. 20 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.... Firearm harvest to date is down 6 percent from last year at this time. Overall, antlered buck harvest is down 7 percent and antlerless harvest is down 5 percent. 
     “Based on our population estimates, the decrease in buck harvest was not anticipated and may reflect hunting conditions more than population,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. “Based on the preliminary numbers, our opening and second weekend harvests from Saturday to Monday were down 4 and 13 percent, respectively, and we experienced windy conditions the first weekend and both wind and rain the second weekend.” 
     Much of the change in statewide antlerless harvest can be attributed to decreased harvest in the northeastern portion of the state, where antlerless harvest is currently down 25 percent.  Much of northern Minnesota experienced an extended, moderate-to-severe 2012-2013 winter, likely impacting overwinter survival and fawn numbers this summer. In response, the DNR reduced bag limits and the number of either-sex permits available in many northern permit areas. Also, antlerless harvest continues to be reduced around the former bovine tuberculosis management zone in far northwestern Minnesota to allow the deer population in that area to rebuild.

... River Bend has conducted similar management hunts in the fall of 1999, 2000, 2005 and 2006 ... Of the 27 deer harvested, 24 were without antlers and three were bucks. The deer seemed to be in good health without any detected diseases or sicknesses which is a good sign ... “there are still a lot of deer out there.” ...

Preliminary numbers indicate fewer deer harvested November 19, 2013, Minnesota, The Lake Country Echo
... Kanz expects more deer registrations to come in, so the numbers aren’t final. He still expects a 10-15 percent drop in the harvest from last year...

Deer hunt on pace to meet the area's management goals November 19, 2013 Minnesota, St. Cloud Times
... The year-to-date deer harvest is about 5 percent higher compared with the same time last year for the dominant permit areas of Stearns, Wright and Sherburne counties, according ...  approximately 8,600 deer killed ... 

Field report: Deer harvest down 6 percent from 2012 November 19, 2013 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Hunters have killed 129,000 deer so far during Minnesota’s firearms deer season — down about 6 percent from this time last year...

Deer hunters shoot, kill 2 family dogs near Braham November 19, 2013 Minnesota, FOX 9 News 
... Both Yotter and John Ostrom claim someone in the hunting group admitted shooting the dogs intentionally because the family pets were messing with their deer hunt...

... , Minnesota hunters harvested 77,008 deer during the first three days of the firearm season Nov. 9-11, down 8 percent from last year. D’Angelo says that’s not surprising, though, considering the weather ... “We had 1 million deer in the state pre-harvest and we expect 185,000 deer harvested by the time the season closes,” ...

Deer hunting numbers are down November 16, 2013 Minnesota, Albert Lea Tribune 
... three days of the firearms season, down 8 percent from 2012, according to the DNR. Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader ... not surprising.  “Last year, opening weekend weather was almost ideal and the state’s corn harvest was virtually complete, she said. “So given Saturday’s roaring winds of up to 30 mph, which tends to restrict deer movement, and more available deer refuge areas due to pockets of standing corn, the harvest is about what you’d expect.” ...

Deer saved from icy death on Park Rapids lake November 16, 2013 Minnesota, Pioneer Press 
... Two dogs had chased it onto the lake ... Wolters raced back home and got his jon boat ... He set the buck down on the ice when it was strong enough to hold the panicked deer...

Deer harvest running behind as hunt ends November 16, 2013 Minnesota, 
Minnesota Public Radio
... Through Thursday, hunters had killed a little more than 92,000 deer -- down about 7 percent from last year...  Last year, hunters killed 186,000 deer out of a statewide population of around 1 million. ...

Early-season deer harvest down significantly in Northeastern MinnesotaNovember 14, 2013 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest was down almost 20 percent across the Northeastern part of the state through the first three days of the season. And the 2012 harvest was down about 6 percent compared to 2011 for the same period ...  in Northeastern Minnesota’s deer ... “We did have a tough winter last year,” ...  “We would expect the harvest would be going down because we have a conservative harvest strategy. In a lot of areas we’re slightly below or approaching (population) goals...

Firearms deer harvest down 8 percent from 2012 November 13, 2013 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
...  the state's three-day opening weekend firearms deer harvest was down 8 percent from 2012, citing strong winds in parts of the state as a possible explanation.  Minnesota hunters harvested 77,008 deer during the period...

Illegal deer baiting on the rise; penalties stressed November 13, 2013 Minnesota, Hutchinson Daily Leader 
... Col. Ken Soring, DNR enforcement director... “In order to show the seriousness of the offense, hunters are also subject to license revocation when convicted of baiting deer.” ... Soring reminds hunters it is illegal to take deer with the aid or use of bait and encourages hunters to direct their efforts towards traditional and ethical hunting techniques ...

Wind might have hampered deer hunters November 12, 2013 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... several conservation officers reported the winds appeared to hinder harvest.  “Most [hunters] believed standing corn and heavy winds contributed to the slow opening weekend,’’ ... At least three vehicles were struck by shots apparently fired by hunters over the weekend; no injuries were reported ...

... Leslie McInenly ...  a 37-year-old Stillwater resident with a background in elk research ... She predicted the total number of deer killed this year would be similar to last year, when 186,000 deer were taken. She said that about a million deer remained on the landscape last week and that, in most areas of the state, good numbers had survived the winter...

... The DNR says the numbers marked the most deer-baiting infractions since the agency started tracking them in 1991.  Penalties for deer-baiting include the loss of firearm and hunting privileges, and a fine of up to $1,000...

... “It’s one of the quietest years I’ve heard,” said Linda Loucks of God’s Country Outfitters north of Grand Rapids... “Everyone was griping about no deer around ...

Standing up for Minnesota deer November 9, 2013 Coon Rapids Herald
... the numbers aren’t there like they have been in recent past, especially in the north woods where a tough winter and too many predators (in my opinion) have taken their toll... 

A chat with the deer czar November 8, 2013 Minnesota, Aitkin Independent Age
... Our statewide population is up a bit from last year ... Based on our 2013 population estimates, 80 percent of our permit areas are at goal. Over the past few years, the harvest has been right around 200,000, and that is probably a good number to look at, given our management goals and the feedback we get from hunters...

Minnesota's firearms deer season November 8, 2013 Budgeteer
 ... wildlife officials say deer numbers are down in many areas, especially from the Iron Range north, as a result of recent moderate to severe winters... 

Firearms deer hunting season opens Saturday November 8, 2013 Minnesota, Austin Herald
...500,000 – Deer hunters last year.186,000 – Deer harvested last yea [down from five year average]...  DNR biologists report deer populations are stable across much of the state.  “Minnesota’s deer population is largely stable in the southern half of the state because of mild winters and generally conservative deer management,”  ...



All signs point to a solid opener in SW Minn November 8, 2013 Minnesota, Marshall Independent
... In a historical context, the DNR said, too many deer were taken during the 1960s, forcing the closure of the deer season in 1971 and a rebuilding of the deer herd from the 1970s through the 1990s. The highest deer harvest occurred in 2003 ... 290,000 deer ...

Illegal deer baiting on the rise; penalties stressed November 8, 2013 Minnesota, Brainerd Daily Dispatch
 ... Deer baiting is placing food near deer stands or clearings with the intent of luring a deer into close shooting range. It has been illegal to bait deer in Minnesota since 1991...

... "In many areas, we still don’t really have a good handle on the ability of an area and whether it can sustain a managed harvest strategy year after year." John Williams, regional wildlife supervisor ... the extended winter in northern Minnesota likely had a negative impact on production.  "From early reports, hunters are not seeing as many fawns with does as they typically would be seeing,"  ...

Reading the body language of deer November 8, 2013 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 
...  When unable to determine whether a sight or sound is friend or foe, a deer will sometimes perform the “head bob.” The deer will begin to lower its head toward the ground, as if to feed, and then suddenly jerk its head back up again. The head bob is an attempt to catch predators off guard ...

DNR revisiting deer population goals; offers online sign up November 7, 2013 Minnesota, Coon Rapids ECM Publishers
... People interested in providing input as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) begins its efforts to set deer population goals for southeastern Minnesota can sign up for regular information updates at http://www.mndnr.gov/deer... 

DNR predicts good deer harvest November 4, 2013 Minnesota, KARE
... "Minnesota's deer population is largely stable in the southern half of the state because of mild winters and generally conservative deer management," ... too many deer were taken during the 1960s, forcing the closure of the deer season in 1971 and a rebuilding of the deer herd from the 1970s through the 1990s... The highest deer harvest occurred in 2003, when 290,000 deer were taken as part of an effort to reduce the deer herd...

Minnesota deer facts  November 4, 2013  Minnesota DNR
... The biggest white-tailed deer ever recorded was a 500-pound Minnesota buck.  A whitetail’s home range is about one square mile... 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season... Nearly 500,000 deer hunters in Minnesota.  Direct retail sales – $234 million....

'Tis the season for white-tailed deer November 4, 2013 Minnesota, Park Rapids Enterprise
... The range of the white-tailed deer is testament to its astonishing adaptability. From southern Canada to the Florida Everglades, and from the eastern hardwoods to the western pines, the white-tailed deer flourishes throughout its extensive North American range. ... with regard to a whitetail cousin, the mule deer, this doesn’t seem to be quite the case...

Where the deer are November 3, 2013 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... deer harvest per square mile in 2012, indicates the wide disparity, ranging from more than nine deer per square mile killed in permit area 602 (a chronic wasting disease zone with no bag limits) to 0.06 per square mile in permit area 117 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (where there are few deer and fewer hunters).  The statistics generally reflect where deer densities are high and low, but there are other factors. “It also reflects our management strategies, too,’...

With Minnesota deer numbers down, hunters still optimistic November 3, 2013 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... “With the population down and our conservative antlerless permits, I suspect the harvest will be down,” ... The DNR is taking a conservative approach to this fall’s deer season, allowing hunters to take fewer deer in most deer permit areas ... Guys with trail cameras are seeing mostly does. The bucks seem to be really down ...




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Minnesota Data: 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 from severe winter. The 2013 deer harvest was the lowest in a decade.   Too many deer were taken during the 1960s and rebuilding of the deer herd began in 70s, 80s and 90s. Now DNR is managing the herd on population goals based, in part, on public input. 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.  In 2012, the DNR  restricted antlerless deer hunting permits in a effort to grow the herd. About 500,000 deer hunters. 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.A whitetail's home range is about one square mile. Adult males weight about 170 pounds, adult females about 145. 
       An estimated 2,211 wolves 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.   The state's moose population has dropped from a peak of about 8,800 in 2006 to an estimated 4,230 to 2,760 — between 2012 and 2013.  Biologists are studying the cause of the decline.

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Mission Statement: The mission of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is to work with citizens to conserve and manage the state's natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.

Deer Managment Objectives: The primary objective of the deer management program has been, and will continue to be population management. The Minnesota DNR is committed to managing deer populations within goal ranges that were established through a collaborative public process. Any regulatory changes will be evaluated first on the basis of how they affect total deer numbers. Other metrics, such as satisfaction, opportunity, or changes in sex ratios, while also important, are secondary to our need to manage deer populations...., a statewide survey of deer hunters conducted in 2005 indicated that 66% (69% in Zone 3) of hunters supported the concept of enacting regulations for managing for mature bucks. However, no proposed regulation garnered more than 50% support ... Concurrent with hunter interest to manage for mature bucks is the agency’s desire to manage deer populations at goal densities that were established through a public participatory process.