Minnesota Deer News

Work begins on statewide deer management plan August 22, 2016 Minnesota, Alexandria Echo Press
... The goals of the plan include setting a statewide harvest objective, describing the DNR's responsibilities and activities related to deer management, addressing regional variations in deer habitat and populations and guiding the agency's management of deer into the future...

DNR survey finds Minnesota wolf population stable August 21, 2016 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... Minnesota had an estimated 2,278 wolves last winter ... statistically unchanged from the estimate of 2,221 in 2015 ... The average pack covered about 62 square miles ... As deer numbers dropped earlier in the decade “we’ve observed a decline in prey that translated into larger wolf pack territories ...

Weather big factor in deer mortality August 20, 2016 Minnesota, Hibbing Daily Tribune
... 2013 and 2014 had 40 inches and 30 inches of snow, respectively. Both years were of course poor deer years, and in 2013 the DNR even reported one of Minnesota’s worst fawn crops since 1996... The mix of woods and fields around the Iron Range is better for fawn survival than the dense forested regions of Lake County...

... Unless Minnesota reverses well-established declines in hunting and fishing participation among young people, license sales will crash and endanger the state’s priceless outdoors identity... 

Grand Rapids special deer hunt enters fourth season August 16, 2016 Minnesota, news.dnr.state.mn.us
... The city of Grand Rapids will hold its fourth special deer hunt this fall in an attempt to further reduce deer numbers within the city limits. Following back-to-back mild winters, higher than desired deer numbers have persisted within the city limits...

ebounding deer population relaxes hunting limits August 5, 2016 Minnesota, Fergus Falls Daily Journal
...much of the eastern half of the county ... will present hunters the opportunity to bag twice as many deer this year. ... south of Fergus Falls, had a limit of 100 one-deer permits last year. That number has been dropped to 25 for 2016. Wells faults lenient limits, which lead to overhunting in prior years. That, combined with tough winters, has thinned out what used to be an abundant population of deer near his property...
... hunters can no longer bring whole deer carcasses into Minnesota from anywhere in North America... “We are making this change to respond to the increasing prevalence and geographic spread of CWD,” ...

Somewhat higher deer harvest likely this fall; licenses on sale August 1, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... "In northern and northeastern areas, the 2016 hunting regulations will remain somewhat conservative to allow for a controlled increase in deer numbers, resulting in lottery and bucks only designations.  "In the highly productive deer permit areas in west central and southeast Minnesota ... regulations are meant to use hunting as a tool to help manage local deer populations...

... Craig Engwall, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, said the new hunting regulations reflect the practical notion that more deer are on the state’s landscape. Statewide, the whitetail herd is estimated at 1 million strong. Last year, hunters harvested 159,343 of the animals...

...  bag limits that are more liberal than they have been the past couple of years... That's definitely the case in northwest Minnesota,  ... permit areas near the Canadian border and along the Red River ... The uptick in licenses reflects an increase in deer numbers after two mild winters... 

Voyageurs moose numbers remain stable July 29, 2016 Minnesota, Tower Timberjay News
... the park’s moose herd represents a relatively small sample, with the latest estimate pegged at just 41 animals, evenly divided between males and females.  Calves accounted for 16 percent of the population, with a cow/calf ratio of 0.46, an improvement over some recent years ...

Minnesota DNR Unveils Deer Season Framework July 28, 2016 Outdoors with Sam Cook - AreaVoices
... a somewhat more liberal season ... During the past two firearms deer seasons, few antlerless deer permits have been issued so that the deer herd can recover from several severe winters in recent years... 

More fawns, more deer being seen by wildlife officials July 10, 2016 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... People are seeing lots of twin fawns with adult does this spring, a sign that recent mild winters are allowing the deer population to rebound somewhat across Northeastern Minnesota. ... Most deer permit areas across Northeastern Minnesota remain slightly below deer-density goals or around the goal range ...

Camp Ripley sets new deer rules July 9, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Until recently, Ripley has been known nationwide as a place where common-man archers could see, and perhaps kill, a buck of a lifetime. In 1981 and in 2001, for example, wall-hangers weighing 272 pounds were killed ...  in recent years, the number of oversized Ripley bucks killed by archers has dropped...  no bonus permits will be available ...

...  Department of Natural Resources had proposed raising management goals for elk in central Kittson County from a range of 20 to 30 animals—the target in a five-year plan that expired in December—to a goal of 50 to 75 elk in the draft of a new management plan...

Faribault Council approves archery deer hunt at River Bend June 17, 2016 Minnesota, Southernminn.com
...  the fourth year in a row that a River Bend management hunt has been conducted ... in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources... about 100 of these special hunts are administered around the state per year...

Conservation, environmentalism merge June 2, 2016 Minnesota, Post-Bulletin
... hunters inviting birders, landowners and environmental groups to take part in writing a statewide deer management plan ...  it won't be easy, because Minnesota has varying landscapes from the northeast with its hard winters, the wide-open southwest and the southeast with the bluffland  ...

The DNR recently commissioned an audit to find out where deer are being harvested in Minnesota. May 31, 2016


Deer management good but needs improvement May 28, 2016 Minnesota, Detroit Lakes Online
... After reviewing the audit, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr agreed that “a formal deer management plan would help to define, clarify and prioritize deer management goals, objectives and resources.” ...

... A winter aerial survey of the deer population showed a level of 18 per square mile in Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park ...  the survey pegged the deer density in Bunker Hills Regional Park at 36 per square mile and in Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park at 71 ... Controlled Archery Hunt Information

DNR needs better plan, better numbers on deer May 26, 2016 Minnesota,  Minneapolis Star Tribune
... The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is embarking on its first statewide plan for deer, and intends to invite not just hunters to the table, but also a wide range of interest groups that includes conservationists, local governments, foresters, ecologists, auto insurance companies and anyone else ...
     Legislative audit: DNR deer management sound but needs improvement May 26, 2016 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... The legislative audit suggested the DNR broaden the kind of information it considers in setting deer population goals. Information on deer-vehicle crashes, the impact of deer on forests and agricultural land and changes in land use should also be included in the discussion of deer population goals ...
     Audit calls for formal deer management plan in Minnesota May 26, 2016 Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio News
...  the audit concluded that establishing a statewide deer management plan would communicate to the public how the DNR prioritizes deer goals relative to other species, help lay out strategies to improve deer hunting, and better define expectations.  The audit also called on the DNR to improve the statistical methods ... [see below]

   [from the Report Summary]:   an estimated one million white-tailed deer statewide in 2013 ...  DNR’s current model is sound and aspects of DNR’s methods to estimate deer populations are commendable and align with best deer management practices; however, we identified weaknesses in DNR’s statistical methods, data resources, records management, and validation of its deer estimates ...In recent years, DNR has used more conservative deer permit area designations intended to limit how many deer hunters may kill, and to increase deer numbers in many areas. As of 2015, DNR estimates of deer populations and deer goals varied significantly around the state ...

MN DNR to test for CWD again this fall May 23, 2016 Minnesota, Outdoor News
... After a one-year hiatus, the DNR plans to conduct chronic wasting disease surveillance of white-tailed deer in the southeastern part of the state ... Even though we feel good about the three years of negative (tests), you just never know ...

Elk hunting; deer deadline; volunteering opportunities May 22, 2016 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald
...  the DNR drafted a new elk management plan in 2015 that called for increasing the goal for elk populations in central Kittson County to a herd size of 65 to 75 animals, up from 20 to 30 elk in the previous management plan...

Food plots for wildlife: Diversity works well for me May 19, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... food plots for deer and other wildlife ... begin by planting clover, or a clover mix (chicory is a common addition), for several reasons. Clover is generally easy to grow, does well in a variety of soil conditions, and is a reliable source of nutrition ... I’ve planted thousands of shrubs (especially redosier dogwood, which is a favorite winter food for deer) ...

Moose in Minnesota represent a mystery May 12, 2016 Minneapolis Star Tribune
...  their numbers in Minnesota have been declining over the past 10 years ... Moose live in the extreme northern part of Minnesota, mostly in the rugged terrain of the northeastern counties and in the boggy lowlands ...

Deer are hard to count May 12, 2016 Minnesota, Daily Globe
...The DNR is undertaking a new research project in about five counties in Southwest Minnesota... data is collected by driving the same routes at the same time of day. In this case it was after sunset till about midnight ...  Data is entered into a computer model and it uses this data to come up with a few different scenarios to estimate deer numbers...

Deer fawns are being born; leave them alone, urges DNR May 9, 2016 Minnesota, News Releases - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
... Fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks of life. Instead, fawns remain still to avoid being seen, their white spots serving as camouflage. During these times fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers. Bringing fawns into human environments separates them from their mothers – and usually results in sad endings for the animals.  “We understand people often have good intentions, but we want people to know that fawns survive best without intervention,” ... visit the orphaned wildlife page.

... building a shelter to go over hay [alfalfa] ... “It’s to make the deer more visible, to pull them up,” Schuette said. “They won’t eat the hay because it is wet and full of goose poop.”...

... agents attached a GPS tracking device to the underside of Liebl’s pickup truck ... District Judge ... dismissed 13 charges against Liebl, saying the DNR did not obtain a search warrant...

Whitetails are much more than pets April 28, 2016 Minnesota, Agri News
... Ryan and Trudy Lickfelt's daughter asked for a pet deer almost eight years ago... The 28-acre hobby farm a few miles south of Hutchinson has evolved into 21 whitetail deer — five does and 17 bucks... It costs $300-350 per head to care for the deer each year ... We have a lot of people who want two deer to bottle feed and want them as pets ...

... the pontoon drove in front of the deer, causing the animal to swim farther into the lake.  The deer drowned shortly thereafter... The agreement required Timm to pay $500 in restitution...

... with just two indigenous wolves remaining, aged and genetically substandard, a rescue undertaken now is unlikely to help. So the National Park Service is considering whether to let wolves disappear for good or reintroduce them a few years hence... The island’s moose herd has been swelling rapidly for several years as wolves were fading and is now conservatively estimated at about 1,300...

... One of those amendments slashed funding to a Minnesota Deer Hunters Association project to acquire up to 4,000 acres of Potlatch timberland for deer and ruffed grouse habitat in Cass, Wadena and Hubbard counties... Ingebrigtsen, assistant minority leader in the Senate, said he wants full funding restored to the deer hunters’ project ...

Minnesota DNR appeals ruling that invalidated major deer poaching bust April 15, 2016 Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Department of Natural Resources on Friday appealed a ... a district court ruling that said DNR agents needed more than a tracking order to secretly attach a GPS tracking device ...  37 dead deer ... an intact piebald white-tailed fawn ...

14 deer heads cut off, left in Minnesota park April 13, 2016 Grand Forks Herald
... Pat’s Grove County Park ... in Cottonwood County ... whitetail bucks with the antlers cut off of them ... call (507) 476-4020 ...

Deer population looks favorable April 10, 2015 Minnesota, Hibbing Daily Tribune
... “The 2015-2016 winter was definitely in the mild category, even as it drags into early April,” ... snow depth is the most important factor in deer winter survival in northern Minnesota ... This is the second mild winter in a row following two extremely harsh years ... Fawn production should be excellent in spring 2016...

...The first year or two with Bloomquist, the Ericksons and Pionks found 20-some moose sheds. The next year, they hit the mid-30s. Last year, they brought home a phenomenal 55 moose sheds...

Cold Springs Deer Farm is located north of Orr, Minn., on Highway 53. In addition to providing all the necessities of a rural convenience store, guests can get an up-close visit with several tame white-tailed deer. - March 31, 2016


New grant program aims to increase hunting opportunities March 25, 2016 Minnesota, Sault Ste. Marie Evening News
... The Department of Natural Resources awarded a $10,000 grant to the Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Conservation District on March 17 to help enhance hunting on public lands by giving adjacent private landowners an opportunity to provide a hard food source for deer...

Crossbows may not be in favor yet but times are changing March 25, 2016 Minnesota, Wadena Pioneer Journal
... innesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) recently voted against a resolution that would have opened the door for more crossbows... crossbows have been restricted to deer hunters with handicaps for many years in Minnesota...

Short winter should mean stronger deer March 21, 2016 Minnesota, Sault Ste. Marie Evening News
... "The longer the winter lasts the harder it is for the deer herd ...Hopefully, this will help them rebound a bit."... We're still a month or two away from fawn production...

...  two Grand Rapids-based hunting organizations share an interest in similar habitat and already have been working together on a plan to buy thousands of acres of private forest in Cass, Wadena and Hubbard counties...

... because of a treaty between the Ojibwe and the U.S. government that was established back in 1837.  In return for millions of acres of land  .... the right to hunt, fish, and gather wild rice in the lands they were giving up ...

State deer hunters group opposes expanding crossbow hunting March 1, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) has rejected a proposal to expand crossbow hunting in Minnesota... some gun hunters also oppose the expansion of crossbow hunting. They worry the deer harvest could be skewed, particularly the buck harvest, and perhaps especially that of big bucks...

...  the DNR says deer densities in a newly defined “moose region’’ will be kept at about the same levels hunters have seen in recent years — levels that in some instances are at or near modern-day lows ... to reduce conflicts between deer and moose, particularly the prospect of moose becoming infected with brainworm ...
     DNR seeks to fine-tune the moose-deer divide February 26, 2016 Minnesota, Timberjay Newspapers 
... “Aligning deer permit area boundaries to the known moose range is part of the DNR’s strategy to promote the health of moose populations in northeastern Minnesota,” said Murkowski. “The nice thing for deer hunters and wildlife watchers is this proposal also allows for growth in deer herds outside the moose range where more deer on the landscape won’t negatively affect moose.” ...
     DNR proposal would change some deer permit areas in primary moose range February 25, 2016 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... In areas of Minnesota's primary moose zone, deer populations are managed at lower levels than in areas managed primarily for deer... 
The proposal includes changing boundaries for some existing deer permit areas ...
     Moose plan proposal would bring change to local deer areas February 24, 2016 Minnesota, Mesabi Daily News
...The changes are part of finalizing a moose plan that is designed to help the state’s struggling population. Although causes for the dwindling numbers remain a mystery, it is known that moose suffer increased mortality due to the passing of deer-borne parasites and diseases...

DNR sheds light on elk capture, collaring effort February 23, 2016 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald
...The elk were collared as part of a two-year research project to learn more about elk movements and habitat use in northwest Minnesota. This is the first-ever research project to be conducted on Minnesota's elk herd.  Minnesota has an estimated population of about 83 elk between its three herds....

Poaching still threatens wolves February 22, 2016 Minnesota, Minnesota Daily
... Except in defense of a human life, hunters cannot kill a gray wolf...  some hunters ... blame the animals for declining deer and moose populations...

3 dead wolves found dumped in northern Minnesota ditch; poaching suspected February 18, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
...  carcasses of three wolves “frozen solid” were found dumped ...discovered in a pile in the ditch just off the shoulder of the road  ... Hwy. 8 near Floodwood, about 35 miles southeast of Grand Rapids ... a reward of up to $2,500 for information ...

Elk survey results underscore importance of elk research February 17, 2016 Minnesotda, Voice Of Alexandria
... The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ aerial survey counts elk in three herds in the state’s elk range. This year’s survey results show large population swings in two of the three herds that might be caused by elk traveling into and out of Canada ...

Latest moose count provides little good news February 17, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... The state’s annual aerial survey, taken in January, estimated the state’s moose population at 4,020, up slightly from the previous year... The population has dropped by more than half since 2006... Researchers blame invasive parasites, diseases of greater severity and warmer weather — conditions that can combine to make moose more vulnerable to predators...

Mild winter good news for deer February 13, 2016 Minnesota, Virginiamn
... according to the Winter Severity Index (WSI) put out by the DNR, the weather so far has put very little stress on the animals ... The result of two extreme winters — in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 — was that ‘bucks only’ was the mandate across the Northland during all hunting seasons ... Fawn production should be excellent in spring 2016 ...

Deputies rescue deer from Mississippi February 12, 2016 Minnesoat, KARE
...  young deer had been stuck on the ice of the Mississippi River all day, and couldn't seem to get off... After nosing the boat onto the ice Deputy Powers climbed off, approached the deer, and then pulled her into shore ... "She didn't struggle ... 

...  “We know very little about elk in Minnesota. Our goal is to improve understanding of the species and ultimately develop management programs that benefit elk and their habitat ... will collar approximately 20 adult female elk ...

DNR highlights elk plan comments  February 7, 2016 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald
... Minnesota has about 130 elk in three herds ... comments on the elk plan from people who live outside the elk range mostly were supportive of a larger elk herd, while those who live nearby generally favored a slower approach...

So far, mild winter is good news for Northland’s whitetails February 7, 2016 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... With moderate snow depths, deer can range more easily.... For the past two deer seasons, the DNR has issued few antlerless deer permits in Northeastern Minnesota in an effort to conserve does and let the deer herd rebound.  After back-to-back severe winters in the mid-1990s, a series of mild winters allowed the deer herd to recover rapidly...

White-tailed Deer fawn risk from Gray Wolf predation during summer
LD Mech, A Morris, S Barber-Meyer 2016 Minnesota, The Canadian Field-Naturalist [The link opens and downloads a PDF file]
    Little is known about how often various prey animals are at risk of predation by Gray Wolves (Canis lupus). We used a system to monitor the presence during the day of two radio-collared Gray Wolves within 2 km of a radio-collared White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with a fawn or fawns in August 2013 in the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota. We concluded that the fawn or fawns were at risk of predation by at least one wolf at least daily.

Minnesota's 'deer czar' from Marathon February 4, 2016 Wausau Daily Herald
...  less than a decade after earning his bachelor's of science degree in wildlife management and ecology, he's now Minnesota's "deer czar." ...Murkowski earned a master's degree in forest resources with a wildlife emphasis from the University of Arkansas-Monticello ...

Defense challenges evidence in Minn. deer poaching case January 31, 2016 Minnesota, SC Times
... Less than two weeks after attaching the GPS gadget to Liebl’s pickup, DNR officers executed a search warrant and confiscated the racks and mounts of 37 dead deer from Liebl’s home...

New Minnesota DNR deer leader wants herds to thrive January 27, 2016 Minneapolis Star Tribune
...Keeping chronic wasting disease (CWD) out of Minnesota and emphasizing habitat as a way to boost the state’s whitetail herd are among the chief concerns of the new deer leader at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Adam Murkowski ...

Minnesota elk plan worries ranchers January 26, 2016 Prairie Business
... Schmiedeberg is on the front lines of a controversial plan to increase Minnesota's wild elk population from about 130 to about 200.  He and other ranchers say elk damage hay, crops and fences, costing producers time and money...

‘Counting deer’ no longer enough January 23, 2016 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune 
... There simply won’t be enough hunters and anglers to generate sufficient revenue for public agencies, he said.  “There are people who still think we can work our way out of this with kids’ fishing clinics. Get over it,” Martin said. “Please return to this planet right away. It ain’t gonna happen.” ...

...  the best team of scientists and researchers working to understand what has cut the moose population by 60 percent since 2006.  "The population in Northeastern Minnesota was over 8,000 and then it started declining precipitously," said DelGiudice.  Now that number sits at less than 3,500...

New big game manager enters at important time January 20, 2016 Minnesota, Alexandria Echo Press
... Young bucks are shot every season by hunters who wouldn’t put their own tag on that animal but know there is someone in the party who will. Doe tags, divvied out as a management tool by the DNR, often go unused because many would rather shoot a buck of any size rather than take a doe...

Minn. Governor Seeks Felony Poaching Law January 19, 2016 Minnesota, Courthouse News Service
... Calling it a "shameful criminal act," Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wants poaching of game and fish to be prosecutable as a felony.  It's the second year in a row Dayton has sought harsher penalties for poaching...

Duluth bowhunters register 372 deer as herd declines January 17, 2016 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... The total harvest was the lowest in the 11 years the hunt has been held except for the first year, when 192 hunters registered 333 deer... 

Dayton renews calls for tougher penalties for worst poachers January 16, 2016 Minnesota, Kansas City Star
...  the governor said he plans to make another push during the upcoming legislative session for felony-level penalties ...

DNR roundtable to focus on variety of wildlife conservation issues January 13, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... This year’s wildlife roundtable will include an hour long presentation on deer management, including an update on the management plan for whitetails in the southwestern part of the state.  Shorter wildlife breakout sessions will cover the DNR’s fostering of wild elk herds in the north ...

Douglas County included in aerial deer surveys January 11, 2016 Minnesota, Alexandria Echo Press
... Low-flying helicopters will be used for annual white-tailed deer population surveys by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources through March in central, west-central and southeastern Minnesota...

DNR releases preliminary deer harvest numbers for 2015 January 6, 2016 Minnesota, SC Times
... The Minnesota deer harvest yielded 159,227 animals in 2015, according to preliminary numbers ... up nearly 20,000 compared with the previous season's harvest of 139,442 ... License sales totaled 609,382, up from 598,594...

DNR hires new big game leader January 4, 2016 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Murkowski worked in a similar position, deer project leader, in Vermont from 2012 to 2015... worked for the Wisconsin DNR as assistant deer, bear and wolf ecologist in Madison...

Duluth man saves deer from frozen river January 2, 2016 Minnesota, KARE 11
... "I could see that the deer was moving frantically, trying to escape and it had icicles hanging off its face and it looked frozen," ...  he sat with it for about an hour to make sure it was okay ... [this story has gone viral on social media] ...

DNR made strides in enhancing outdoor opportunities in 2015 December 31, 2015 Minnesota, Pine Journal
... The DNR revised its elk plan, addressing several small herds that live in northwestern Minnesota. The plan calls for increasing those elk herds ... preliminary estimates show the 2015 deer harvest increased 14 percent over 2014 ...

Schomacker hosts deer hunting town hall meeting December 29, 2015 Minnesota, Marshall Independent
... coordinated by Gary Clark and other local deer hunters frustrated with the DNR's management of the deer population in southwest Minnesota  ...  fears that unless changes are made in the DNR's deer management strategy, hunters will soon be forced seek opportunities to hunt out of state ... 

Outdoors headliners: the stories of the year December 26, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... The problem of too few whitetail deer also drew attention in 2015. With bucks scarce in northern Minnesota, legislators were pressured to shake things up. They ordered an audit of the DNR’s management practices due by spring...

Crossbow use fits in the crosshairs of more and more hunts December 17, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... For a long time only three states — Ohio, Arkansas and Wyoming — allowed hunting with a crossbow. ...By 2014, crossbows represented 38 percent of manufacturing. Compound bows account for about 60 percent ...

Increased deer kill indicates deer population recovering December 17, 2015 Minnesota, Bemidji Pioneer ·
...   "With bucks-only regulations, hunter success ranges from 15 to 20 percent, depending on the permit area. That means only one in six or seven put venison in the freezer in 2015. That's tough hunting. Barring an extreme winter, that will change next deer season." ...

Slayton, Schomacker to host meeting on deer hunting rules December 14. 2015 Minnesota, Worthington Daily Globe
... the low deer population or lack of DNR officers ... local deer hunters can share their views ...

Just a bunch of bucks i've captured on trail camera this season. I ran 4 cameras, and captured 10's of thousands of photos. Located in Northern MN. Most bucks on my cameras were 3.5 years old or younger, this is due to the age structure in my area of MN being really poor. Deer management isn't really practiced and the Rifle Season in MN is during the peak of the rut which also helps to destroy age structure of deer in MN. - December 15, 2015


Increased Minnesota deer kill reason for optimism December 14, 2015 Northland Outdoors
... The buck harvest, generally considered the most reliable population indicator, was up 18 percent across Series 100 units ... 

DNR commissioner is proud of inroads made December 12, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... With deer, we had been trying to downsize the herd and that didn’t sound like a bad thing. Then we got dinged with two bad winters. I wish I would have spent more time getting more background information about our goal-setting...

Family rescues deer stuck in fence in Hancock December 12, 2015 Minnesota, AG Week
...The video, available to view here, was shared by Bosek ...

Hunters who illegally dump deer give all hunters a bad name December 7, 2015 Minnesota, Outdoor News
...  Illegally dumped deer carcasses were noted by several Minnesota DNR conservation officers around the state this past week. It’s a bad look.  “You make every hunter in the state of Minnesota look like a slob hunter,” said Maj. Greg Salo, DNR Enforcement Division ...

Elk can be found in abundance in northwest Minnesota December 6, 2015 Minnesota, Bemidji Pioneer
... With a public land base of tens of thousands of acres that are managed specifically for open landscape dependent species of wildlife, including elk, elk are thriving, most notably in Kittson County where two separate populations of elk occur...

Borderland, Local deer harvest up December 3, 2015 Minnesota, The Journal
...  “We don’t know how much can be attributed to a change in population or just better weather ... Nice weather increased hunter participation ... four of the last seven years have brought worse than average winters...

Positive results for deer season December 2, 2015 Minnesota, Virginiamn
...All nine local deer permit areas saw an increase in deer harvest numbers as the firearms season came to a close on Nov. 22, according to statistics released earlier in the week by the DNR...

Deer-baiting problem persists in Minnesota November 29, 2015 Grand Forks Herald
... during the first five days of the season issued 140 baiting citations in addition to 42 warnings, DNR officials said.  Over the past five years, Minnesota conservation officers have issued an average of 147 baiting violations per year.  Deer baiting, illegal in Minnesota since 1991 ...

MN Deer harvest up from past year November 29, 2015 Minnesota, ObserverLeader.com
... Minnesota's total deer harvest this fall since the opening of archery in mid-September is 145,383, compared with 128,134 a year ago...

Wildlife Service, several states appealing ban on wolf season November 28, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Wolves tend to thrive when snow is deep, Nohrenberg said, making it more difficult for deer to escape... Legislation has been introduced in Congress to remove Great Lakes wolves from the endangered species list ...

... Minnesota firearms hunters registered 128,174 deer through the third weekend of firearms deer season, up from 112,715 from the same period in 2014 ...

White-tailed Deer fighting November 27, 2015
     White-tailed Deer fighting on Pike Island in Fort Snelling State Park. Maybe it's just friendly sparring—they don't seem all that serious about it. Nevertheless, those antlers are sharp.

Center sees upsurge in sick eagles November 24, 2015 Minnesota Daily
...   University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center ... “Hunting season is our busy season for injured eagles,” she said. “We see a lot of lead-poisoned eagles who had been scavenging on guts and other sources of lead from spent ammunition.” ...

Deer harvest up as B season begins November 21, 2015 Minnesota, Winona Daily News 
...  in Zone 3, which is the southeast part of the state ... it looked like we were up about seven percent over last year ... around 9,600 deer were harvested during southeast Minnesota’s A Season ...

As options dwindle, venison lovers must hunt for processors November 21, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
...  Area meat cutters say the shift away from whole-carcass processing started in 2002 when chronic wasting disease (CWD) was discovered in deer  ... “Deer processing used to put you over the hump,’’ Stasny said. “Now the deer season comes and it’s like, ‘Do we have time?’ ” ...

...Hunting and fishing aren’t just pastimes and passions in Minnesota — they’re a constitutional right.  Anyone who tries to get between hunter and hunted on public lands risks a ticket and misdemeanor citation for hunter harassment. For several years, citations have been on the rise...

Why Wisconsin has more deer than Minnesota November 20, 2015 TwinCities Pioneer Press
... Roughly twice as many deer have been killed by hunters in Wisconsin each year in recent decades ... Half of Minnesota is above the northern third of Wisconsin that is forested habitat, where our deer densities tend to be lower ...  the deeper one gets into northern pine forests, the less hospitable the landscape is for deer ...

Nearly 120,000 deer registered through second weekend November 18, 2015 Wisconsin, The Journal
...  firearms hunters registered 118,599 deer through the second weekend of firearms deer season, up from 104,785 from the same period in 2014 ... 

Didn't get your deer? You've got company November 18, 2015 Minnesota, Post-Bulletin
... Bow hunters are seeing more coyotes than deer, he said. The old trails are still there, but not as many deer are walking on them   ... Nelson said he'd like to take a look at the models this winter to see if the hunter's choice permit is leading to overhunting...

Wildlife crossings are good for all animals, including us November 18, 2015 Wisconsin, City Pages
... an estimated 35,000 deer-vehicle collisions ... Wildlife crossings ... have proven remarkably effective at cutting crash numbers... Scott Dibble ... chair of the Senate transportation funding committee ...  "... absolutely we should take a look at it...

Minnesota deer harvest up 13 percent from 2014 November 17, 2015 Duluth News Tribune
... Buck harvest during the first 10 days of the firearms season was up 18 percent from last year, indicating that the population has in fact grown from its low point two springs ago....

Season-to-date harvest up over 2014 November 15, 2015 Minnesota, AmeriPublications
... Hunters killed 43,450 deer in the first three days of the 2014 modern gun deer season, compared to 38,041 in the first three days of the 2013 modern gun season...

Cougars unlikely to settle in Minnesota, Wisconsin November 15, 2015 Duluth News Tribune
... With breeding populations already established in Nebraska and the Dakotas, the cougar could further expand into southern Missouri, eastern Oklahoma and northern and western Arkansas, the study found... Cougars expand their range by what is called “stepping stone dispersal” ...

... 2014, when Minnesota hunters harvested just over 139,000 deer — a number the DNR considers conservative. And it’s way down from the peak harvest of the last 20 years: in 2003, hunters took nearly 300,000 deer... As the DNR has sought to regulate the deer harvest, they have largely done so by restricting the number of antlerless deer killed by hunters...

Deer harvest increases in Minnesota November 11, 2015 Minnesota, Pine And Lakes News
... Preliminary firearms deer harvest numbers for the opening weekend through Monday in Minnesota was 68,401, up 6.3 percent from last year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.  The statewide buck harvest was up 8.5 percent and made up 68 percent of total harvest...


Tower area deer numbers are up November 11, 2015 Minnesota, Hibbing Daily Tribune 
... all nine of the local Tower Area permit areas have seen an increase from last year’s three-day opening weekend ... the population increase following two devastating winters has begun. Even though the numbers are still low ...

Deer harvest up slightly in Northeastern Minnesota November 10, 2015 Duluth News Tribune
... preliminary totals, Minnesota’s firearms deer kill was up 8.2 percent from last year in Northeastern Minnesota (100-series units) after the first three days of the firearms deer season ... Through Friday before Saturday’s opening day of hunting, just more than 419,000 licenses had been sold ...up from about 393,000 at the same time last year ...

Hunter says Palmer illegally chasing deer on Barnesville property November 10, 2015 Minnesota,Valley News Live 
...  she says people were chasing deer with vehicles and keeping them on the property of Walter Palmer.  Palmer is the Minnesota dentist that killed Cecil the lion earlier this year in Africa...


Preliminary data indicates deer hunter success up for opener November 9, 2015 Minnesota, Northland's NewsCenter
... Deer registration stations indicate those hunters were more successful than last year.  "I think we were up from last year a little bit...

Overall deer kill at Camp Ripley up 41 percent in ’15 November 9, 2015 Minnesota, Outdoor News 
... When you look at the long-term trends, though, the average buck kill is what they say is their primary herd-monitoring tool, and this year’s kill of about 75 adult bucks is about half of the 25-year average.”  Johnson noted that the 25-year average adult buck kill is about 150 deer per year, and that the peak adult buck harvest, achieved back in 2000, was 228 adult bucks...

Baiting for deer goes on despite DNR deterrents November 7, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
...Baiting deer has been problematic for several years, despite increased penalties. Last year, officers issued 150 tickets and 48 warnings — about the same as 2013 and down a bit from 2012.  Hunters who put out bait to attract deer now lose their hunting privileges ...

Today's the day for 500,000 deer hunters in state November 7, 2015 Minnesota, Echo Press
... Deer hunters can also enjoy the weekend digitally with a few different hashtags on Facebook and Twitter. The hashtag #MNDeerOpener can be used over the weekend for updates directly from the Mountain Iron event and the hashtag #DeerCampMN can be used by hunters to share their own experiences...

Minn. Hunters Gearing Up For Firearm Deer Season November 6, 2015 Minnesota, CBS Minnesota
... Last year, hunters spent more than $725 million on equipment, food, licenses and permits. “Half a million people all going out tomorrow ... this year’s regulations are the same as last. You can find what you need to know in the regulations handbook on their website...


2015 Minnesota Firearms Deer Season Opener November 6, 2015 KSTP.com
...Hunters can now take a look at an interactive deer information tool being developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “This is our first step toward launching an online application that delivers useful information hunters need and want,” ...

... Deer populations are on the rise following a milder winter and a conservative hunting season last year. This season will again be a conservative one, which means fewer antlerless deer permits were issued. Harvesting fewer does allows deer populations to grow and helps provide more opportunity in the future...

The Deer Opener is Saturday and hunters are preparing to head into the woods. The DNR continues to have a one-deer limit as they work to rebuild the herd November 6, 2015 Minnesota


Minn. deer hunting opener: A perfect storm? November 6, 2015 Minnesota, Northland Outdoors
... “Minnesota needs a four-point restriction,” Beimert said referring to a restriction that would prohibit shooting deer with four points or less. “You just can’t shoot the little deer.” ... In northeastern Minnesota, last winter wasn’t mild, but it was milder than average. However, compared to some other areas of the state, a deer population recovery in the region can be slower ...

... Southeast Minnesota ...  chronic wasting disease was discovered in a deer near Pine Island in early 2011... More than 4,000 hunted deer later, there hasn't been a single new case of CWD, which led the DNR to stop monitoring the disease this upcoming hunting season...

... some that have won a certain lottery will be hunting in some of Minnesota’s state parks.  "We've had hunts in here actually since 1983," said Assistant Park Manager Arol Mccaslin with Forestville State Park...

... The Minnesota DNR is restricting most hunters to one deer this season. Some of the Northland has a buck-only one-deer limit, other areas have a lottery one-deer limit... 

Recovery mode November 4, 2015 Minnesota, The Bismarck Tribune
... Yes, deer numbers are down... deer are still rebounding from some rough winters that overlapped liberal hunting seasons.  That said, DNR wildlife managers say hunters are likely to see more deer this year than last year...

2015 Ely-Tower area deer season forecast released November 2, 2015 Minnesota, ElyEcho.com
... DNR ... forecasting a deer population on the rise but still below management goals for Northern St. Louis and Northern Lake Counties. Wildlife managers report the deer herd is below population goals in 7 of 9 of the deer permit areas in our area but rebounding from recent tough winters.   Five out of the last 8 winters have negatively impacted the deer herd and fawn production in the Tower Area...

Deer population strong in area November 1, 2015 Minnesota, SC Times
...  last year’s conservative regulations prevented a lot of deer, especially antlerless deer, from being harvested. Toss in a mild winter last year and very good recruitment of fawns this spring and there’s no doubt there’s more deer ... 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest usually occurs during the first three or four days of the season...

Minnesota Deer Hunting: Still in rebuilding mode November 1, 2015 Grand Forks Herald
... One-deer limits remain in most of the state, with numerous permit areas restricted to bucks-only for hunters w ... ho didn't receive an antlerless permit by lottery ... "We are continuing to build the deer population across much of the state, and we do that by harvesting fewer antlerless deer," ...

Deer population rebounding October 31, 2015 Minnesota, St. Cloud Times
... “We’re still kind of on a rebound, but last year was a huge rebound year for deer in Central Minnesota, to a point where we’re going to have to look seriously in the near future at controlling that population,” ...

Justice wheels grind slowly in poaching case October 30, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... The poaching case against Joshua Liebl led Gov. Mark Dayton in the last legislative session to urge lawmakers to toughen the state’s penalties in serious poaching cases — a request that was largely ignored...  37 dead deer — this, even though according to DNR records, Liebl had registered only four ...

Are deer coming back in former CWD zone? October 29, 2015 Minnesota, Post-Bulletin
... A doe shot by a bow hunter in 2010 near Pine Island tested positive for chronic wasting disease ... more liberal seasons and bag limits for deer, the area was left with about 4,000 fewer deer, knocking down the herd in the area anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent ... 

Fond du Lac elk restoration study on list for state money October 25, 2015 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... to study both the habitat availability in the area of southern St. Louis, Carlton and northern Pine counties as well as social acceptance for a restored elk herd...

Hunter group addresses herd stability, buck maturity October 24, 2015 Minnesota, St. Cloud Times
... Traditionally, 85 percent of the bucks harvested in Minnesota in a typical year are only 1½ years old.... a movement slowly starting ... establish a stronger and more stable local deer population from year to year. Second, to balance the age structure of the herd, particularly when it came to bucks... the River Bottom Whitetails group has certainly seen their efforts pay off ...

History of Minnesota deer hunting and management October 23, 2015 Hometown Focus
... . European settlement of southern and central Minnesota during the mid- to late- 1800s cleared forests for lumber and agriculture, which improved habitat quality for deer by creating new openings. However, as agricultural land conversion expanded, habitat quantity declined and so did deer numbers. Market and subsistence hunting accelerated the population decline in deer numbers; by the 1880s deer were rare in many parts of Minnesota ...

2015 Trophy Deer Forecast: Minnesota October 22, 2015 Game & Fish
... The subspecies of whitetail in our state is the continent’s largest in both body size and antler size... . In reality, hunting pressure in Minnesota is lower than it is in many other places. If you don’t believe me, try a place like Pennsylvania on opening day.

Rebuilding Deer Population in 2015 - Minnesota, October 20, 2015


Minnesota deer facts October 19, 2015  Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
... A whitetail’s home range is about one square mile...  Last year’s total deer harvest was about 140,000.  Because of a conservative 2015 season designed to boost the statewide population, total deer harvest in 2015 is again anticipated to be relatively low. The DNR is projecting total harvest to come in around 140,000 to 155,000 deer...In total, about 628,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2014... 

Bemidji, Roadside deer survey for northeast Lake Bemidji area October 19, 2015 Minnesota, Bemidji Pioneer
... o assess deer population levels within the northeastern part of Bemidji, as directed by the City’s Deer Management Plan, BSU students will be conducting an evening spotlight survey next week...

... As executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Engwall's charge is to represent nearly 20,000 dues-paying members who are generally believed, by policy makers and lawmakers in St. Paul, to represent the interests of the roughly 500,000 deer hunters who live in Minnesota ...

Conservative deer season expected October 8, 2015 Minnesota, SW News Media
... Following a milder winter and a conservative deer season last year, hunters this fall may see more deer ... This year, they may see deer they can’t shoot, but this helps provide more opportunity in the future...

Moorhead man charged with animal cruelty in deer's drowning death October 6, 2015 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
...  charged Tuesday with animal cruelty for allegedly circling his pontoon boat around a deer struggling in a Mahnomen County lake until the large buck drowned...

Minnesota Data:  About 1 million deer in 2016, up from about 850,000 deer in 2015, 800,000 in 2014.  Two mild winters and fewer antlerless permits account for the upward trend.   Fawn survival was higher.  More hunting permits in 2016, although a conservative approach for the north and northeast to allow the herd to grow.  About one million deer in 2013.  About 900,000 to one million wild deer from 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. The winter of 2013-14 was the worst in 50 years.  Another conservative hunt in 2015 with reduced tags to allow the population rebound to continue.  In 70 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters were chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer.  License sales totaled 609,382 in 2015, up from 598,594 in 2014.   Read the 2016 state audit of Minnesota Deer Management:  Full Report or Summary.  
     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.  [Click on harvest graph to enlarge, source DNR]
     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  estimated 3,450 in 2015.  Themoose 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.  About 130 elk in 2016 in the northwest.
     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 2,278 wolves in 2016, 2,221 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.  Record low of about 750 in the 1950's.


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