Minnesota Deer Population:  Nearly one million whitetail deer in 2023 with about 950,000 deer in 2020, 935,000 in 2019, and 960,000 in 2018.  A harsh 2022-23 winter reduced populations in the north.  DNR's 2023-24 deer forecast.  Mild winters in 2020-21 and 2021-22 except in the north with overall populations about stable, but weather contributed to lower populations in 2022.  


A modest downward trend from an estimated population of 1 million deer in 2016 and 2017.  Up from about 850,000 deer in 2015, 800,000 in 2014.   A hard 2018-19 winter dramatically reduced the population in the north  Mild winters and fewer antlerless permits account for the upward trend into 2018, numbers still down in the northeast.   The deer harvest peaked in 2003 and the population trended down from then into 2013. 


Minnesota Deer News

Spring black bear harvest and predation pressure on moose calves in a multi‐predator system 2024, Minnesota, The Journal of Wildlife Management

... moose ... has recently declined in Minnesota ... Mean proportion of calf predation attributed to bears was 4.9 times higher (30% vs. 6%) in the years when a spring bear hunt was not held. Despite an increasing wolf density during the study period, we did not observe compensatory increase in wolf predation during spring bear hunt years. The results of this work suggest that the addition of a spring bear hunt,

during a time when moose calves are most vulnerable to bear predation, has the potential to increase moose calf survival even in the presence of wolves...


Minnesota DNR Using AI + Trail Cams For Deer Survey In 6 Permit Zones June 5, 2024, KDHL Radio

... There will be a massive amount of data collected with time-lapse photography. The DNR says they will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to process the data. They used it before in studies in 2021 and 2023 with success. You can expect the results and the final analysis in 2027...


Northeastern Minnesota deer study to begin Jun 3, 2024 Minnesota DNR

...The DNR will place cameras on public and private lands to gather additional deer density data in deer permit areas ... Traditional deer population modeling relies heavily on hunter harvest data. This project will provide additional data to increase confidence in making harvest decisions in the study area... Private landowners sought at selected locations to host trail cameras ..,


Culling efforts wrap up May 22, 2024 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

... Targeted culling is a management action used to slow the spread of CWD where it is known to exist. The Minnesota DNR does not cull deer across a broad area; all efforts are focused within 2 miles of a known positive location...CWD test results can be found on the DNR website.


A Hutchinson deer sanctuary might be forced to close its doors after 60 years May 20, 2024 Minnesota, CBS News

... But due to a new law, Gopher Campfire Wildlife Sanctuary is now required to build a second fence around the perimeter, to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease...  the sanctuary is run by volunteers and supported by donations. So there's no guarantee organizers will come up with the money they need...


Humans have substantially altered the relationship between wolves and deer May 8, 2024 Minnesota, Tri-County News

...research from the University of Minnesota’s Voyageurs Wolf Project found that human activities in northern Minnesota –

logging, road and trail creation, and infrastructure development – have profoundly impacted where wolves hunt and kill deer fawns. By altering forest ecosystems, humans have created an environment that possibly favors the predators... [published in Ecological Applications]


Behind the scenes of season setting April 23, 2024 Minnesota DNR News

... The 2023-2024 WSI estimates indicate this winter to be one of the most mild winters Minnesota has seen in recent history. This bodes well for Minnesota deer as the usual stressors associated with winter (such as reduced food availability, mobility and survival) were less of an issue compared to other years.  Keep in mind though: One mild winter doesn’t guarantee a significant increase in deer numbers. For example, the winter of 2020-2021 was very mild, but was also followed by two consecutive harsh winters ..,


Winona council OKs sharpshooters to thin deer, combat CWD April 19, 2024 Minnesota, Winona Post

...  Last month, the City Council agreed to let the DNR bring in professional sharpshooters to cull the deer population on city property where CWD-positive deer have been located...


Gopher Campfire Sanctuary seeks funding to save deer April 17, 2024 Minnesota, Crow River Media

... Gopher Campfire leadership are appealing for donations to install secondary fencing at the Hutchinson wildlife sanctuary as mandated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The measure aims to prevent physical contact between wild deer and those within the sanctuary's perimeter, protecting the resident deer population...


Drazkowski moves to fully abolish southern Minnesota shotgun-only hunting zone April 14, 2024 Minnesota Senate Republicans

... An in-depth study commissioned by the Pennsylvania General Assembly found “shotguns firing modern saboted slugs have a larger danger area than the .30-06 rifle when the angle of elevation is approximately level (0 degrees); hence, given this firing condition, the shotgun is riskier than the rifle. In other words, the typical hunter discharging a 12 gauge shotgun fitted with a rifled barrel firing a .50- caliber saboted modern high-velocity ammunition at a deer on level terrain is riskier than a hunter firing a .30-06 with a 150-grain expanding bullet at the same deer.”  ...


Eichorn votes to authorize wolf hunt in Minnesota April 12, 2024 Minnesota Senate Republicans

... Minnesota State Senator Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) and Senate Republicans offered an amendment to the Senate’s environment policy bill on Thursday that would authorize an annual wolf hunting season in Minnesota regardless of any federal prohibition...


Moose and white‐tailed deer mortality peaks in fall and late winter - Journal of Wildlife Management, 2024

... The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa manages for sustainable subsistence harvests of moose (mooz; Alces alces) and white‐tailed deer (waawaashkeshi; Odocoileus virginianus). Moose populations in northern Minnesota, USA, are declining ... Mean annual moose survival was 83.2%, and mortality risk peaked during late winter (~25 April) and fall (~8 October). Mean annual deer survival was 48.0%, and mortality risk peaked during late winter (~25 March) and during their fall migration period (~11 November)...


Federal suit filed over deer farm regulations April 3, 2024 Minnesota, The Timberjay

... The situation at the heart of the dispute is the state’s ongoing effort to control chronic wasting disease (CWD) in both the farmed and wild cervid population, including deer, moose, elk, reindeer, and sika deer ...  lawsuit filed with the Minnesota federal district court ...


High-powered rifles for deer hunting debated

March 24, 2024 Minnesota, Mankato Free Press

... A proposal moving through the state Legislature would allow the use of rifles anywhere in the state during deer hunting... opposed by those who say rifle hunting in the more open areas of southern Minnesota would be dangerous...


Anderson: In northeast Minnesota, observing DNR, habitat and deer all decline March 21, 2024 Minnesota, Yahoo! Sports

... Lightfoot [a northeast Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife manager from 1980 to 2015] said DNR office closings, staff reductions and the elimination of deer habitat efforts in the northeast are major reasons the region's whitetail numbers have plummeted..,


Downtrend continues for deer harvest, could lead to further restrictions March 16, 2024 Minnesota, KSTP-TV

...   a key factor in the recent dips is the harsh and snowy winters of 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 ... it’s too early to tell, but the mild winter could bode well for future harvests..,


DNR says mild winters will help deer population March 9, 2024 Minnesota, Journal

... “The reason the deer harvest was down this year is that we had two back-to-back brutal winters with deep snow across most of northern Minnesota, especially the northeast,” ... 14% less than the five-year average... The 2023 harvest in the Minnesota arrowhead (northeast) region was 21% less than 2022 ..,


Historic warm, low-snow winter boon to many wildlife, bust for others March 6, 2024 Minnesota, The Lawton Constitution

...  after back-to-back severe winters in 1995-96 and 1996-97 when many deer perished. With a string of mild winters that followed, northern Minnesota saw its highest-ever deer population ... This is one of the few winters of the past 10 years that haven't seen deep snow on the ground that restricts their access to food and their ability to escape predators..,


DNR Says Minnesota Moose Population Has Remained Relatively Stable March 6, 2024 Lakeland PBS

... The most recent DNR population estimate is approximately 3,470 animals. Results continue to suggest that after a steep decline from a population estimate of approximately 8,000 in 2009, Minnesota’s moose population appears to have stabilized and has fluctuated around 3,700 animals in recent years..,


Harvest is official: Minnesota's deer hunt season was a downer March 1, 2024 Star Tribune

... DNR's wildlife managers have been saying publicly since 2018 that northern deer are losing winter habitat due to logging practices on public lands.  Froberg said this winter's mild conditions bode well for deer in northern Minnesota, but the animals will need several mild winters to "start to recover'' their population ..,


Minnesota 2023 deer harvest down 8% statewide from 2022, DNR says February 26, 2024 YAHOO!News

... Minnesota hunters shot 158,678 deer during the 2023 hunting season ... down 8% from the 2022 season and 14% less than the five-year average... In recent years, deer populations have been lower in northern Minnesota .., [the report]


DNR announces 2023 deer season harvest results, CWD management findings February 26, 2024 Minnesota DNR News

... CWD was detected in 43 hunter-harvested deer during the 2023 fall hunting seasons. Of these, 91% were from the southeast, a region that continues to see persistent CWD infections in wild deer... Targeted culling is a management action used to slow the spread of CWD where it is known to exist..,


Plants can uptake CWD-causing prions from soil in the lab. What happens if they are eaten?

February 22, 2024 Minnesota,  University of Minnesota CIDRAP

...   published in iScience in December ... They demonstrated that alfalfa, barley, and Arabidopsis thaliana, a small plant from the mustard family called thale cress and other names, all accumulated sufficient prions from contaminated soil in their above-ground tissues to cause mice that ingested the plant tissues to develop prion disease...


Anderson: In north woods deer hunting debate, we're not seeing the forest February 18, 2024 Yahoo! Sports

...  wolves appear to be sustaining themselves on food sources other than deer, and therefore — at least for the time being — their numbers are not tracking downward in concert with deer populations, as is usually the case in predator-prey cycles... others say that increasing the breadth and quality of northeast habitat is the best chance hunters have to boost the region's deer numbers..,


Video of wolf killing deer in northern Minnesota becomes political fodder February 13, 2024 Minnesota, Star Tribune

...U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., posted the video on several social media sites along with a warning.  "As you can see, wolves lost any fear of humans and are increasingly dangerous to livestock and pets and decimating our deer here," ..,


Minnesota DNR looking to cull deer population in northwest Rochester February 7, 2024 KIMT

... to help fight chronic wasting disease (CWD)...  after a deer tested positive for the fatal brain disease last March...


This year's mild winter largely beneficial for fish and wildlife species February 3, 2024 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald 

... “The past couple of winters were hard on deer, of course, and deer right now, throughout, I’d say all of Minnesota, are doing just fine and able to access food..." [Blane Klemek, Northwest Region wildlife manager] ..,


Final Deer Harvest Numbers in Minnesota Are Historically Low January 18, 2024 WJON

... down this year compared to last year by approximately 8%... the final 2023 numbers and with all the seasons combined Minnesota had 158,746 deer harvested... 2023 was the lowest amount of deer harvested since 2014..,


CIDRAP launches international effort to prepare for possible chronic wasting disease spillover January 16, 2024 Minnesota, University of Minnesota

... The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota is pioneering a multi-country project to prepare for a possible chronic wasting disease (CWD) spillover from deer or other cervids—members of the deer family—to humans or non-cervid farm animals...


Shakopee Mdewakanton, University of Minnesota partner on deer research January 10, 2024 Minnesota, Red Lake Nation News

... “Managing deer populations in densely populated areas is important, but little is actually known about suburban deer ecology,” ... will use low-flying helicopters with nets to catch deer, fit them with GPS radio collars ...


Suit seeks halt to tightened deer farm regulations December 29, 2023 Minnesota, MPR News

... A group of Minnesota deer farmers is suing the state over new regulations that they allege are intended to eradicate the industry.  In May, state lawmakers approved a moratorium on new deer farms in an effort to halt the spread of chronic wasting disease ..,


Agencies expect further decline in the number of Minnesota deer farms December 27, 2023 Outdoor News

... The number of white-tailed deer farms in Minnesota dropped from 195 at the end of fiscal year 2020 to 125 at the end of fiscal year 2023 ... the state Legislature passed several new laws that altered oversight and regulations for certain farms..,


Cougar spotted on video roaming through Minneapolis's Lowry Hill neighborhood December 5, 2023 Minnesota, CBS News

... Cougars are rarely seen in the state but occasionally do appear, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Since 2004, there have been 77 verified cougar sightings... "It's really rare," DNR Large Carnivore Specialist Dan Stark said. "To have it in a densely human-populated area ..,


A new Minnesota deer hunters group wants to shake up the politics of wolf control November 30, 2023 Star Tribune

... most recently estimated the state's population at about 2,700 wolves... A big part of HFH's recruitment pitch is that no one is fighting for a wolf hunt. The group believes a hunt is needed...  this year plummeted 35% below the five-year mean. The snow has made deer more vulnerable to wolves and other predators, the DNR has said... a string of deep-snow winters ..,


Test confirms second CWD-positive deer south of Crookston November 30, 2023 Wisconsin, YAHOO!News

... One deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in the Red River Valley near Climax, Minnesota, and another remains "suspect," based on testing conducted during the firearms deer season, according to a report from the Department of Natural Resources..,


Deer registrations continue long decline November 29, 2023 Minnesota, The Timberjay

... Reductions in deer numbers due to winter mortality and cuts in antlerless permits combined to account for most of that drop.

The seven northeastern Minnesota permit areas that experienced the highest WSI readings last winter saw a collective registration decline of 34 percent over last year and 44 percent over deer registrations in 2021...the last two winters have been generally considered severe due mostly to deep and dense snowpack ..,


CWD detected in a wild deer in southeastern Minnesota November 28, 2023 Albert Lea Tribune

... A deer harvested during the opening weekend of firearms season near Wabasha in southeastern Minnesota has tested positive for chronic wasting disease ..,  DNR Report


Deer gets another 'shot' at life after rescue in Prior Lake November 27, 2023 Minnesota, KARE 11

... Prior Lake firefighters put on their ice rescue gear, attached themselves to ropes and crawled out on the ice to rescue the scared creature...


Wolves aren’t to blame for a disappointing deer hunt, data show November 22, 2023 Wisconsin, Southern Minn

... hunters in the northeast are generally less likely to bag a buck than hunters elsewhere, and that there’s been a slight downward trend in the odds of a successful hunt in both the northeast and statewide. That said, the numbers are still well above lows set in 2014 and 2015, when some especially harsh winters drove deer populations down...


The DNR needs to act as wolves decimate deer in northeast Minnesota November 17, 2023 Star Tribune

... DNR brass will tell you the northeast deer problem is the result of a perfect storm, blaming bad winters, an aging forest and oh, yes, wolves... "This fall, in seven days of hunting, I've seen the same doe twice,'' he said. "That's it.'' ..,


Research shows humans alter wolf-deer relationships November 17, 2023 Minnesota, The MIning Journal

... , humans have done an excellent job of creating and maintaining a diverse, well-connected web of roads, trails, and other cleared linear features that are ideal corridors for wolves to hunt deer.” ... new study published in Ecological Applications ..,


Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports.  Few Deer November 16, 2023 Ely Echo

... Many hunters contacted stated that the snow cover that initially attracted them to the area also had the effect of showing there were very few deer present in the woods... [District 6 - Two Harbors]


Minnesota firearms deer harvest rallies but remains below 2022 numbers November 14, 2023 Grand Forks Herald

... Hunters had registered 106,538 deer through Monday, Nov. 13, statistics showed. That’s down 5% from 2022, 16% when compared with the five-year mean and 29% when compared with 2017 harvest totals in the same time frame..,


The State of Minnesota's Whitetail Population: Challenges and Opportunities November 8, 2023 EnergyPortal.eu 

... The recent opening weekend of the firearms deer season in Minnesota has raised concerns about the state’s whitetail population. Reports from field officers suggest a significant decline in deer sightings ... The encroachment of human development and changes in land use patterns may be shrinking the available habitat for deer, forcing them into more remote areas..,


Data and observations back it up: Not much bang in Minnesota deer opener November 8, 2023 AOL

...  According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the statewide harvest of deer during the opener last weekend was 13% below last year's mark, which was lower than the year before. As of Tuesday morning, hunters had registered 75,900 deer statewide...


Minnesota researchers explore how road design can reduce deer collisions November 3, 2023 KSTP-TV

...driver speed is one of the main factors in predicting deer-vehicle collisions ... If you have that area of opening on the side of the road, deer are more visible and that makes it possible to slow down ... On average, about 1,300 car-deer crashes are reported ... each year. However, researchers found the actual number could be 10 to 20 times higher than that ...


Saturday's deer opener brings expanded testing for chronic wasting disease November 3, 2023 Minnesota, MPR News

...Straka said the agency has tested more than 120,000 deer since 2002 and to date has found 217 positive cases, a positive rate of just under two percent of deer tested.  The statewide wild white-tailed deer population is estimated at nearly one million animals..,


Hunters May See Fewer Deer in Northern MN During Firearms Opener  November 2, 2023 Minnesota, Lakeland PBS

... “Overall, deer populations are faring pretty well throughout most of the state. In northern Minnesota, our deer populations did face [a] second consecutive severe winter, and so hunters may see lower deer numbers in northern Minnesota,” said Barb Keller, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Big Game Program Leader. “In response to that, we have lower bag limits ..,


Humans have substantially altered the relationship between wolves and deer, finds study October 30, 2023 Minnesota, University of Minnesota

... By altering forest ecosystems, humans have created an environment that possibly favors the predators...  published in Ecological Applications ... Wolves disproportionately hunt and kill deer fawns around recently logged areas ...


Minnesota Deer Hunters Face Major Regulation Changes In 2023 October 23, 2023 B105country

... The Minnesota DNR increased the bag limit or lottery permits in 12 deer permit areas this year, 80 DPAs have the same designation as last year, and 38 DPAs have reduced bag limits or lottery permits..,


Chronic wasting disease numbers remain favorable, but state cannot let up in its actions October 23, 2023 Minnesota House of Representatives

... Of the approximately 120,000 wild deer tested since 2002, just 217 have tested positive, mostly in the southeast part of the state. There have been no detections in wild elk and moose since 2004... Free voluntary testing options are available statewide, including mail-in kits..,


Minnesota sees decrease in deer-related crashes: "This is a real head-scratcher" October 19, 2023 CBS News

... the rate of November crashes over the last decade is lower in Minnesota compared to neighboring states, with last November's crash frequency being the lowest in the past 10 years..,


What Minnesota deer hunters can expect this season [2023-24] October 16, 2023  DNR News

... Deer populations are increasing in southern Minnesota, and deer fared well over the winter... Deer populations remain robust and highly productive in central Minnesota, and deer also fared well over the winter... Deer populations in many northern areas of Minnesota are still struggling to recover, following back-to-back severe winters... Deer populations are mostly stable in northwestern Minnesota... 


Billboard's claim ignites social media controversy October 4, 2023 Minnesota,  The Timberjay

...The billboard, which is expected to remain up for a few more days at least, makes a controversial claim— that the state’s estimated 2,800 gray wolves consume 54,000 white-tailed deer fawns a year... the Sturgeon River chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association ... is the entity that rented the billboard ...


DNR cautions hunters of CWD transmissions as Minnesota 2023 hunting season begins September 26, 2023 Minnesota, KAAL

... So far this year, there have been CWD-positive cases at nine deer farms in Wisconsin, and a positive case in Marshall County, Iowa.  Back in June, the Minnesota DNR enacted a ban on deer-feeding and baiting across 29 counties ...


All About Habitat September 21, 2023 Minnesota DNR News

... In the northeast part of the state, the Minnesota DNR planted more than 63,000 conifer and oak trees across multiple sites through the Conservation Partners Legacy Grant program (with help from North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District). These trees are critical for creating snow shelters and travel corridors for deer in their wintering areas along the St. Louis River...


Controlled archery deer hunt in Rochester begins September 20, 2023 Minnesota, KTTC

... “The deer that are living here in these urban environments, they are so much more accustomed to the human activity ... as you’re walking, you’ll see deer in pretty close ... proximity to you and they may not necessarily be too scared,” Rochester Archery Club president Terry Spaeth said...


Research sheds light on how brainworm is killing Minnesota's moose September 3, 2023 MPR News

... The moose population in the Arrowhead region in the northeastern corner of the state has plummeted over the past 15 years ... Scientists have long believed brainworm infected grazing moose when the animals ingested tiny gastropods, slugs and snails, that live on the forest floor... confirmed in published study in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases...


Minnesota DNR invites deer hunters to share wildlife observations August 28, 2023 MN DNR

... “We’re asking deer hunters to share their observations of wildlife to help broaden our knowledge about deer and other wildlife species,” said Eric Michel, Minnesota DNR ungulate research scientist. “This is our fourth year using a community science approach, and we’re hoping to build on the helpful results from the last few years.”  The Minnesota DNR uses the information to supplement population estimates ...


A Petoskey deer has an arrow stuck in its shoulder. This resident wants to help August 25, 2023 Minnesota, Yahoo

.. she found the doe with an arrow from a crossbow stuck in its shoulder.  “I was so shocked by it,” ...  right now, the DNR does not currently have any availability to use immobilization drugs because the department’s veterinarian, a wildlife biologist, left and the role currently remains vacant...


Minnesota DNR assuming oversight of state’s deer farms as new laws take shape August 24, 2023 Minnesota, Outdoor News

... One of the changes: the Minnesota DNR having full authority over those deer farms. The DNR previously had had regulatory authority of whitetailed deer farms until 2005, when the Legislature transferred that authority to the state’s Board of Animal Health...


Study sheds light on the decline of Minnesota's moose population August 22, 2023 Phys.org

... Minnesota saw a 58% decline of the moose population in the northeastern part of the state between 2006 and 2017. A primary driver of the decline is brainworm, a parasite that affects the animal's nervous system ultimately leading to paralysis and death..,


Collaboration looks to boost moose habitat across northeast Minnesota August 21, 2023 Ely Echo

...  the 2023 population estimate of 3,290 moose marks a decade of Minnesota’s moose population remaining relatively stable ...  without consistent, large-scale, natural disturbance on the landscape from wildfire and wind events, wildlife managers use vegetation management techniques like timber harvest to mimic these disturbances for moose habitat creation..,


Northeast Minnesota deer permit areas predominantly bucks-only for 2023 deer August 18, 2023 WTIP

...  white-tailed deer populations have declined in the northeast region of Minnesota in the past decade ... Following continued low deer populations due to wolf predation and severe winters in recent years, the DNR has continued to scale back antlerless lottery permits ...


Mineral licks may be to blame for deer infecting moose with deadly parasite  Minnesota August 18, 2023 Quetico Superior Foundation

... new research, published in the journal Food Webs, studied how parasites carried by deer are transmitted to moose ... “We posit that deer and moose co-occur at discrete landscape features such as mineral licks, natural springs, and seeps, that create opportunities for high density contacts among deer, moose, and gastropods,” ...


Significant deer hunting regulation changes this year August 13, 2023 Minnesota, MessageMedia.co

... After a tough winter, deer hunters in northern Minnesota might see fewer deer.  In central and southern Minnesota, deer likely fared well... 38 DPAs have reduced bag limits or lottery permits ...


How deadly brainworms jump from deer to moose August 10, 2023 Minnesota Reformer

...  a parasite known as Parelaphostrongylus tenuis was responsible for anywhere from 25 to 30% of Minnesota moose deaths... A new camera trap study found that not only do deer, snails and moose frequent the same mineral licks, but they’re all often present at the same time. That establishes a clear chain of transmission that was missing before: the deer poop out the larvae, the larvae enter the snails, and the snails get ingested by the moose...


How Chronic Wasting Disease Is Affecting Deer Farms August 6, 2023 MInnesota, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

... In 2018, Minnesota had 395 total captive deer herds, according to the Board of Animal Health; that number is down to 227 herds as of last year. The total number of animals was just over 6,790 in 2022, down from 9,630 in 2019... CWD has been detected in 13 captive cervid farms in Minnesota since 2002..,


Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issues reminders for 2023 deer hunting season August 1, 2023 KTTC

... In northern Minnesota, our deer populations did face second consecutive severe winter. And so, hunters may see lower deer numbers in Minnesota..,


Deer hunting regulations, hunting licenses now available August 1, 2023 Minnesota DNR News

... After a tough winter, deer hunters in northern Minnesota might see fewer deer. In central and southern Minnesota, deer likely fared well.  “Hunters in most of Minnesota can expect a season similar to last year in terms of how many deer they can harvest,” Keller said. “The lower bag limits in northeast and north-central Minnesota aim to allow deer populations to recover after back-to-back severe winters. Deer are resilient and we are hopeful deer populations there will gradually recover along with lower harvests, especially if we get some mild winters.”  The Minnesota DNR increased the bag limit or lottery permits in 12 deer permit areas this year, 80 DPAs have the same designation as last year, and 38 DPAs have reduced bag limits or lottery permits...


Lafayette man intentionally struck deer in video posted to Snapchat July 26, 2023 Minnesota, Southern Minnesota News

... The complaint says the deer crossed the road, and Platz pursued the animal, veering his vehicle over the centerline and into the opposite lane of traffic. Investigators say it appeared that Platz hit the deer on the opposite shoulder of the roadway..,


University of Minnesota startup specializes in detecting CWD July 23, 2023 Grand Forks Herald

... A Minneapolis-based startup company has executed a license agreement with the University of Minnesota to provide new rapid-testing options for chronic wasting disease and other prion and protein-misfolding diseases.  Priogen Corp., specializes in next-generation prion diagnostic services and technologies...


Beset by winter ticks, Minnesota moose suffer a ghastly fate July 14, 2023, Star Tribune

... A type of tick is draining so much blood from Minnesota's moose that the animals are starving to death. Winter tick populations have exploded along the North Shore as the state's winters and springs have gotten warmer ..,


DNR finds a new way to study fawns July 14, 2023 Minnesota, Ely Echo

... “We wanted to determine whether we could find a more effective way of locating newborn fawns in our study area, and that led us to drones with thermal infrared,” ... Before drones, researchers would find and collar fawns by walking through the fields trying to get lucky...


Ely deer crasher avoids jail time July 6, 2023 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune

... admitted intentionally crashing his truck into three deer ... He must pay $390 in fines and court fees and another $1,500 to the state in restitution for the value of the three wild animals killed...


mplications for northeast Minnesota region as crossbows are permitted in archery deer season July 1, 2023 WTIP

... While the use of crossbows may attract a younger and broader demographic, the regional impacts on deer populations are concerning. In the northeast Arrowhead region, deer populations have been steadily declining. The expanded use of crossbows during the archery season could have a negative impact on deer populations, as a regular archery license outside of a bucks-only permit area allows a hunter to harvest a buck or a doe...


New city-wide deer research project to take place in Bemidji June 27, 023 Minnesota, Yahoo! Sports

... "Because deer management practices such as a firearm hunt can't be safely conducted in urban areas, the deer populations can be difficult to manage." ...for the most part, the population is definitely not decreasing in some areas," Haus said. "So I started thinking, 'Is that because the hunts that we're doing aren't effective?' ...


New research shows that swallowed ticks could spread chronic wasting disease in wild deer June 22, 2023  Minnesota, Star Tribune

... University scientists from Wisconsin and Minnesota discovered single deer ticks (a.k.a. blacklegged ticks) in the wild, taken off the heads of CWD-infected deer, with enough disease-causing prions inside of them to spread the disease.  Hypothetically, a healthy deer could accidentally swallow one of those tainted ticks during social grooming ...


Death of Minnesota deer farms 'just a matter of time' under new laws, group President says June 15, 2023 Star Tribune

...  to help Minnesota fight the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in wild deer ...  the law prohibits the establishment in Minnesota of any new deer farms. And, if you currently own a registered farm, you can only sell or transfer it to an immediate family member. Even worse, the chosen family member can't pass it on ...


U of M expert warns of increasing likelihood of CWD transmission to humans June 5, 2023 Minnesota, MPR News

... Michael Osterholm, Ph.D. is a world-renowned epidemiologist ... said transmission to humans has not yet been confirmed, but research suggests it is increasingly likely — especially as the disease continues to spread among deer and elk...


Minnesota Legislature passes jumbo outdoors bill with ‘transformational’ money May 22, 2023 Yahoo

...  the bill declares a moratorium on new deer farms, allows for crossbow use regardless of a hunter's age ...


Cook County becomes first in the state to ban deer and elk farms May 5, 2023 Minnesota, WTIP

... The ban on cervid farms will prohibit deer farms in an effort to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). The unanimous vote by the county board on April 25 updates the county’s zoning ordinance to prohibit cervid farms...


Legislators vote for ban on new deer farms to fight wasting disease May 5, 2023 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune 

... agreement reached Thursday night by a conference committee ... The negotiated deal, brokered by Sen. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, also would shift oversight of deer farms from the Board of Animal Health to the Department of Natural Resources... 


U of M researchers develop technique for rapid detection of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and CWD May 1, 2023 Minnesota, University of Minnesota

... The method will likely open a door for earlier treatment and mitigation of various diseases that affect humans, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and similar diseases that affect animals, such as chronic wasting disease (CWD).  Their new study is published in Nano Letters...


Rare lightning strike kills trio of deer May 1, 2023 Minnesota, Hometown Source

... lightning strikes among animals are rare, but there were clear signs that the dead deer discovered in a field near Airport and Scandia roads in Laketown Township were hit by lightning...


In Ely, outcry leads to added charges in case of three deer hit by truck April 7, 2023 Minnesota, YAHOO!News

... speeded to strike the whitetails as they ran northbound ...  three crippled and bloody deer scattered on the road and its ditches, fighting for their lives ... Defendant admitted he intentionally hit the deer. Defendant said he and his friends thought it was funny at the time ...


Biologist “not hitting the panic button” despite 30% drop in moose count April 7, 2023 Minnesota, StarTribune

... "Stabilized doesn't mean the population is constant," John Giudice, DNR wildlife biometrician, said in the news release. Instead, annual changes since 2013 "appear to be relatively small on average and random, with some years showing a population increase and others a decrease. ... Minnesota moose remain at risk given long-term trends.'' ...  [read the news release from DNR]


As winter drags on in Minnesota, more deer will die April 6, 2023 Duluth News Tribune

... it’s not just deer that die outright that continues to keep the Arrowhead region deer herd down. Female deer that survive winter in severe areas are likely to give birth to just one fawn, or none at all, instead of the usual twins, a factor that will hold the regional population down for years to come..,


All this snow is bad news for young deer April 5, 2023 Minnesota, Detroit Lakes Tribune

..."We are having our most severe winter since at least 2013-14, and I expect significant winter mortality in fawns, and potentially some adult deer," said Robert Baden, DNR area wildlife supervisor..,


Massive natural resource bill advances at Minnesota Capitol April 4, 2023 Duluth News Tribune

... Move responsibility for deer and elk farms from the state Board of Animal Health to the DNR, and also require live animal testing of captive deer and elk as well as other stricter regulations on cervid farms, including a ban on any new farms and restrictions against importing any animals from areas with any history of chronic wasting disease...


Record snow and cold are having a deadly impact on Minnesota's deer population March 29, 2023 KARE 11

... This has been the eighth snowiest winter in Minnesota history and it hasn't just been a headache for humans. The winter has had a much deadlier impact on the state's deer population..,


Ely man admits crashing truck into 3 deer on purpose Marh 27, 2023 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune

... all three deer were paralyzed but still alive and had to be euthanized ... He had to speed up to hit them all, single file ... a total penalty of $1,800 ...


Bill would give DNR more flexibility in elk management March 25, 2023 Minnesota, Yahoo News

... The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources would no longer be required to set elk populations based on depredation complaints under legislation now making its way through the Minnesota Legislature...


Signs point to northern Minnesota deer under winter stress again March 23, 2023 Yahoo

... the winter of 2022-2023 will go down as another severe one for deer in the top half of the state... Deer have been suppressed for years in many parts of northern and especially northeastern Minnesota due to periodic severe winters and wolf depredation..,


State agencies not sold on new chronic wasting disease test option March 17, 2023 Minnesota, Austin Daily Herald

... Larsen points to dozens of studies that show the RT-QuIC test is accurate.  But the test has not been validated by the federal government ... “The Board of Animal Health still has many concerns about using a test that is not validated by our USDA partners,” said Minnesota Board of Animal Health senior veterinarian Courtney Wheeler...


Another snowy winter means fewer deer in Northeastern Minnesota March 11, 2023 Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald

... A decadelong trend toward snowy winters is holding white-tailed deer numbers down... Deep snow on the ground is an insidious killer of deer. They may not die suddenly, but their inability to move to new areas and find quality food gradually wears them down..,


Tribal nations partner with DNR to uncover CWD-positive deer in permit area 184 March 1, 2023 Minnesota, Yahoo News

... This past deer hunting season, tribal biologists collected 298 total samples from deer submitted for sampling by Red Lake, Leech Lake, and White Earth tribal hunters. To date, CWD has not been detected in any of the deer sampled, though some results are still pending...


Deer harvest down 7% from a year ago, DNR says February 25, 2023 Minnesota, Marshall Independent

...  harvested about 170,000 deer during the 2022 season ... “Lower deer numbers in northern Minnesota and poor weather during opening weekend in some parts of the state likely contributed to lower firearms season harvest,” said DNR Big Game Program Leader Barb Keller..,


Tough weeks still ahead for whitetails February 22, 2023 The Timberjay

... For whitetail deer, deep snow is typically the biggest challenge for winter survival  ...A 2020 analysis of northcentral Minnesota climate trends by a U.S. Forest Service researcher confirms that winters have warmed significantly in recent decades, which is helpful to whitetail deer. Yet, snowfall has been on the rise as well, at least in the past decade, as milder air is able to hold more water vapor and helps lead to deeper snowfalls than was the norm in the recent past ..,


Minnesota DNR announces 2022 deer season preliminary harvest results, CWD management findings February 21, 2023 DNR News

... “Lower deer numbers in northern Minnesota and poor weather during opening weekend in some parts of the state likely contributed to lower firearms A season harvest,” ... CWD was detected in 26 hunter-harvested deer through the 2022 fall seasons. Of these, 73% were from the southeast, a region that continues to see persistent CWD infections in wild deer...


Winter brings plenty of deer activity in local yards February 20, 2022 Minnesota, crowrivermedia

...  the heavy, wet snow that came earlier this winter and then froze up is causing issues for the wildlife — especially white-tailed deer.  “It has been one of the toughest in a while,” ... besides the snow is there is less grain left in farm fields these days.., [ Cory Netland, area wildlife supervisor]


Oh, deer! Retired Rochester doctor helps deer recover from vehicle collision February 10, 2022 Minnesota, Yahoo Sorts

...  I could tell that the ... patella, the knee cap, was dislocated ... "In people what you do is you just straighten out the leg and the patella just pops right back in, and that's what happened with the deer," Sparacino said.  The deer got up and walked away shortly after ...


Mankato deer hunt remains stuck at about 30 deer February 2, 2023 Minnesota, YAHOO!News

... The record number was 44 in 2018, but that was an outlier for the 20-year-old hunt ... There are doubts about whether the hunt has a meaningful impact on controlling the deer population ... 



Moose habitat planning effort receives America the Beautiful Challenge grant January 19, 2023 Minnesota, DNR News

... A federal grant award will fund collaborative planning by the DNR to further large-scale moose habitat restoration in northeast Minnesota.  The award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, through the America the Beautiful Challenge, will provide $443,600 to the DNR for the planning effort, with a goal of an implementation plan for moose habitat restoration on three areas of 10,000 to 50,000 contiguous acres each...


DNR invites public input on deer population goals January 17, 2023 Minnesota, Northland Press

... “We’re excited to hear people’s thoughts and encourage anyone with an interest in deer management to give feedback on deer population trends in the areas where they live, work and recreate,” said Todd Froberg, DNR big game program coordinator... Beginning Monday, Jan. 23 ...


Chronic Wasting Disease Interview January 9, 2023.  Minnesota House of Representatives

... “About 20 deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Minnesota since July first of 2022.  State Representative Rick Hansen says a comprehensive package of reforms to address chronic wasting disease will be a legislative priority. Hansen chairs the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee.  Hansen says the DFL-controlled legislature is likely to approve transferring authority over deer farms to the Department of Natural Resource ...


DNR finalizes wolf management plan, learn what it means for deer and moose in northern Minnesota January 5, 2023 Minnesota, WTIP

... The DNR estimates that the moose population lingers between 3000-4000. Compared to upwards of 8000 in 2005... moose in northeastern Minnesota appear to be declining primarily due to high mortality, fewer breeding-age females, and reduced numbers of calves surviving to adulthood ... in the northeast, wolf predation is the leading cause of death for moose calves during their first 30-50 days of life..,


Will Minnesota's moose ever thrive again? December 31, 2022 inforum

... First it was northwestern Minnesota's moose that disappeared, in the 1990s, from thousands to virtually none over just one decade.  Then, northeastern moose numbers crashed by 70% from a modern high of 8,840 moose estimated in 2006 to just 2,700 by 2013..,


Minnesota Democrats hope to sharply limit the deer farm industry in push to fight CWD December 16, 2022 MinnPost

... Minnesota farms that raise elk and deer for meat or captive hunts could soon face sharp limits from DFL lawmakers concerned about a critical disease risk to wild herds.  Chronic wasting disease ...


Deer harvest trailing last year by 10 percent December 9, 2022 Minnesota, YAHOO!News

... The northwest and northeast regions of the state saw the largest harvest declines, with the harvest totals at this point 16 percent below last year in the northwest and 18 percent below in the northeast. The Central area showed a two percent decline from last year at this point...


To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of Minnesota December 2, 2022 Minnesota, Bring MeTheNews

... The Minnesota DNR has announced that late-season deer hunting will be allowed in nine permit areas across the state, in an effort to combat the deadly Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)...


Deer harvest numbers down 55 percent in northeastern Minnesota  December 1, 2022 WTIP

... white-tail deer populations have declined in the northeast region of Minnesota in the past decade... The DNR states that severe winters, wolf predation, and limited winter habitat have contributed to declines in deer numbers in the Superior Uplands – Arrowhead region...


DNR says deer harvest numbers are down in Minnesota November 18, 2022 KIMT

... Deer harvest numbers are down 11 percent compared to last year and 17 percent compared to the five year average.   Contributing factors to the decrease include the lower population of deer seen throughout the state...


DNR links poor deer harvest to wolves, weather November 18, 2022 Minnesota, The Ely Echo

... What is turning into an abysmal firearms deer season has gotten the attention of the Minnesota DNR. And while last year’s tough winter limited population growth, there’s a growing trend to look at the impact of wolves as well...


Locked Bucks Found Dead in Lake November 17, 2022 Minnesota, Grand View Outdoors

... The person who posted the pics says that neighbors saw these bucks fighting the night before on dry land. It’s clear the bucks must have moved their fight to the edge of the lake, or they stumbled into deep water as they fought, then drowned...


CWD suspected in deer harvested near Bemidji November 15, 2022 Minnesota, KSTP-TV

... The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging hunters to have their deer tested after announcing a white-tailed deer shot about 10 miles south of Bemidji is suspected of having chronic wasting disease (CWD)...


U of M researchers seeking to cut down state's number of car-deer crashes November 7, 2022 Minnesota, CBS Minnesota 

... $200,000 study funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation ...  roads with higher speed limits have higher rates of reporting deer crashes based on several factors including proximity to law enforcement and how much damage is caused by the crash...


Minnesota deer season generates big bucks November 7, 2022 KSTP-TV

... Pre-pandemic numbers from the DNR showed retail sales connected to the deer hunt meant $260 million in retail sales and generated $33 million in sales taxes...


Northeastern Minnesota outlook for Saturday’s firearms deer opener November 4, 2022, WDIO

... “In northeastern Minnesota deer populations have struggled to recover from several severe winters and the winter of 2021 was indeed severe in many parts of northeastern and some parts of north central Minnesota. So, we have reduced harvest opportunities in some parts of this area ..."


Fewer hunters, CWD and warm temps impact upcoming deer opener November 2, 2022 Minnesota, KARE 11

...  Deer hunting has a $500 million economic impact on the state and if license sales continue to fall, so too will funding for conservation efforts... The DNR says the number of deer hunters is declining — by as much as 3% yearly ...


Here's Why Minnesota Is No Longer Installing Deer Crossing Signs November 1, 2022  106.9 KROC

... The department of transportation says, "Research has shown that deer crossing warning signs do not reduce deer-vehicle crashes .... Signs that alert drivers to infrequent encounters or possible situations, such as deer crossing, children at play, or playground warning signs do not have a consistent impact on driver behavior." ...


Two Bucks Found Floating Dead In Minnesota Lake With Locked Antlers October 28, 2022 KROC-AM

... found her yard all torn up with scrapes and deer tracks, and kicked up deer which suggests two deer were fighting each other. It's rut season for deer, which means males will get aggressive with each other as they spar over dominance in mating season...



Reps. Hansen, Ecklund, and Becker-Finn Urge Action to Combat Chronic Wasting Disease October 26, 2022 Minnesota Legislature

... “The Legislature must take immediate action to prevent the spread of CWD which is devastating our deer population. The health of our natural environment hinges on our ability to manage this crisis,” ... The representatives are also proposing expanded deer monitoring for PFAS, and neonicotinoids in deer to track and understand additional factors which impact the health of the deer population...


What Minnesota deer hunters can expect this season October 18, 2022, Minnesota DNR News

... Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ wildlife managers report good opportunities to harvest deer in most areas ... Detailed information about each permit area and CWD area can be found on the DNR’s interactive deer map. Additional information about CWD areas, carcass movement restrictions and voluntary sampling can be found at the DNR’s CWD webpage ...


DNR aims to capture hunter observations for science October 8, 2022 Minnesota, MPR News

... The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources believes what hunters see as they wait can be valuable data to help manage the deer population... Last year just 49 hunters out of more than 400,000 who bought a hunting license volunteered to fill out observational surveys ... 


Pesticide exposure tied to deer die-off in Minnesota October 7, 2022 Lewiston Tribune

... State biologists found neonicotinoids in nearly all — 94% — of deer spleens collected from road kill and sent in by hunters last fall. Alarmingly, roughly two-thirds of those deer had higher concentrations of the chemicals than a threshold found to potentially lower fawn survival and cause bone and genital deformities in a captive deer study...


Nearly all Minnesota deer exposed to pesticides linked to pollinator die-off September 10, 2022 StarTribune

... pesticides linked to bee, butterfly and pollinator deaths across the nation are being found in the organs of far more of Minnesota's wild deer, and in higher concentrations, than previously thought.  State biologists found neonicotinoids in nearly all — 94% — of deer spleens collected from road kill ...


Minnesota DNR shares changes to upcoming deer hunting season September 9, 2022 WTIP

... Deer populations along the North Shore and the greater Superior Uplands Arrowhead region have steadily declined. And after a harsh winter, deer populations show no signs of improvement...


Apply for the Deer Advisory Committee through Sept. 19 September 8, 2022 Minnesota DNR News

... We’re recruiting new members to serve on the statewide Deer Advisory Committee, a public advisory group that meets to discuss deer management issues... More information about the Deer Advisory Committee, including how to apply for it, can be found on the DNR deer advisory committee webpage...


Trouble for Bambi: Neonic Levels in Wild Deer Spiking in Minnesota, Raising Concerns for Hunters and Conservationists September 7, 2022 Beyond Pesticides

... Neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides are causing widespread contamination within deer populations in Minnesota, with recent data showing significant increases over sampling that took place just two years earlier...


DNR announces changes to deer hunting in Grand Rapids  August 23, 2022 Minnesota, CBS 3 Duluth

...  a deer in the Grand Rapids area tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD.  The DNR quickly killed off 54 deer in and around the town, submitting all of them for testing.  One other deer tested positive for the disease...


Data show increasing insecticide levels in Minnesota deer August 23, 2022 MPR News

... Researchers found the insecticide in 61 percent of 799 deer spleens tested in 2019. But the chemical was found in 94 percent of 496 samples collected in 2021..,


DNR announces CWD sampling changes August 13, 2022 Minnesota, Pilot Independent

... Hunters will be able to submit samples through taxidermists who are partnering with the DNR or by dropping off deer heads at self-service sampling stations. Other options available include using mail-in kits (hunters remove the lymph nodes from deer themselves), dropping by one of the DNR-staffed sampling stations during the opening weekend of firearms season, or making appointments at area wildlife offices ...


New deer season regulations offer ample opportunities for northwest Minnesota August 5, 2022

Yahoo! Sports

... in the far northwest were ... mortality wasn't as much of a factor as maybe a lot of us thought going into deer season-setting  ... "When we get into that farm country, the habitat just isn't there, and that's a big part of it," Klemek said. "The deer permit areas there are managed, typically, more restricted." ...


The hunt is on: Rochester's first deer archery hunt starts in September August 4, 2022 Minnesota, StarTribune

... Over 200 deer-related vehicle accidents were reported in Rochester in 2021 ... DNR officials expect to keep local deer population about the same over the next decade, as hunters largely thought there were too few deer and landowners thought there were too many.  As their natural environment dwindles, deer have adapted to rural and urban areas...


Fewer Minnesota doe permits in some areas after deep-snow winter August 1, 2022 Duluth News Tribune

... Deer hunters across Minnesota will have about the same opportunities to bag a deer or two this fall compared to last, except in parts of northern Minnesota, where a deep-snow winter pushed the Department of Natural Resources to reduce the number of antlerless deer permits in an effort to rebuild the herd..,


Chronic Wasting Disease, DNR announces CWD sampling changes August 1, 2022 EIN Presswire

... the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is broadening the options this year for hunters to get their deer tested for CWD... Hunters will be able to submit samples through taxidermists who are partnering with the DNR or by dropping off deer heads at self-service sampling stations. Other options available include using mail-in kits ...


State of Wolves: 5 key takeaways July 9, 2022 Star Tribune

... Minnesota is the only place in the contiguous United States to never kill all its wolves... several hundred survived deep in the northern woods ... More than 2,700 wolves live in Minnesota ... Their effect on deer populations also has not changed since the late 1990s..,


However vague, there's movement in state's most recent wolf management plan July 2, 2022 Minnesota, StarTribune 

... "Among the collared cow moose in our study group this spring, 100 percent of calves suffered mortality," said Seth Moore, director of biology and environment for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. "About half were killed by wolves and about half by bears. Because of the tough winter, we also had some stillborn calves." ...


Crow Wing County abandons deer carcass incineration as effort to prevent CWD spread June 28, 2022 Minnesota, Brainerd Dispatch

...  whether the incinerator is in use or not, the landfill would continue to accept deer carcasses to try to keep prions out of the environment.   “It’s just those unknown, what-if concerns about, what if these prions end up going into our landfill leachate?” Simonson said, referencing the runoff created when rainwater filters through waste ...


Fawns collared, tracked for second year as part of long-term study June 13, 2022 Minnesota DNR News

... With the aid of a contracted drone pilot, the research team locates fawns, usually one to five days old, in their natural habitat. From there, a team of three to four people on the ground locates and captures the fawn to check length, weight and overall health while also slipping on a flexible GPS collar that expands as the young deer grows...


Fawn rescued from forest fire near Nevis Park June 7, 2022 Minnesota, Rapids Enterprise

...  The fawn was in immediate danger. She already had some singe marks on the back of her neck ...  they arranged for a volunteer from Northwoods Wildlife Rescue to meet her at their rehab facility...


New funding expands chronic wasting disease research June 2, 2022 Minnesota,  MPR News

... "We successfully developed a prototype. We were the first team to test for CWD within 24 hours in the field," said Peter Larsen, co-director of the University of Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach...  The test still needs to be validated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a process that will take at least a year...


Archery hunt in Rochester parks proposed to control deer May 14, 2022 Post Bulletin

... 268 deer-related vehicle collisions last year... “I’ve heard many complaints about property damage ...


Legislation needed to stem the spread of chronic wasting disease May 8, 2022 Minnesota,  InForum

... DFL Sen. Karla Bigham introduced an amendment that would have put a moratorium on new deer farms, while allowing for currently operating farms to be passed down to family, restricted the importation of deer from states or provinces with positive CWD cases, and included some new testing regulations for deer farms but did not restrict intra state transport... [didn't pass with these restrictions] ...


Deer shot in Grand Rapids was positive for chronic wasting disease May 4, 2022 Minnesota, Echo Press

... One of the 54 deer shot by sharpshooters in recent weeks did indeed test positive for chronic wasting disease ... The culling and testing effort came after a car-killed deer that was tested in March came back positive for CWD...


Winter conditions keep grip Up North, but whitetails show resilience April 21, 2022 Star Tribune

... weather-related fawn deaths have been reported sporadically across the northern tier ... under conditions that have hampered their mobility and feeding ... For moose in the region ... this spring's deep snow could bring a blessing by suppressing reproduction of ticks that feed on them ...


White-tailed buck, moose antlers shed over winter exposed for picking April 9, 2022 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune

... Some people collect sheds to make money, and there are buyers paying big bucks for sheds used to make decorations, for dog chews and for medicinal purposes ...  It's illegal to shed hunt in all national parks, Minnesota state parks and state Scientific and Natural Areas...


Minnesota Researchers Will Count Dead Deer to Prevent Future Vehicle Collisions  April 7, 2022 Field & Stream

... Drivers officially report 2,000 deer-vehicle collisions to authorities in Minnesota each year. Yet, State Farm records show 42,874 claims in the state last year alone... By gathering better data, the study ultimately hopes to reduce the number of collisions ...


Prohibiting PFAS, regulating farmed white-tailed deer key points in omnibus environment bill April 5, 2022 Minnesota House of Representatives - Minnesota Legislature

... The farmed Cervidae, including white-tailed deer, provisions would include having owners immediately notify the DNR if a farmed cervid escapes and is not returned or captured within 24 hours, require perimeter fencing for farmed cervids, prohibit intentional movement of the animals unless certain criteria are met and require owners of farmed white-tailed deer to test their herd for chronic wasting disease...


Minnesota lawmakers would ban new captive deer farms to prevent spread of chronic wasting disease April 4, 2022 StarTribune

... Both Republicans and Democrats in the House have proposed moratoriums on new whitetail farms, which have been hotbeds for the always-fatal CWD ... There are about 150 deer and elk farms in Minnesota, down from 400 in 2005..,


Another tough winter for northern Minnesota deer March 20, 2022 Duluth News Tribune

... this is now the sixth winter out of the past 10 that has been unusually snowy in parts of northern Minnesota, a string not seen since the 1970s ... Repeatedly snowy winters have prevented Arrowhead region deer numbers from rebounding over the past decade ...


Minnesota lawmakers drop deer farmer provision from $10 million drought aid bill March 22, 2022 Duluth News Tribune

... $500,000 specifically for deer farmers affected by extreme drought conditions last year. The provision drew opposition from Democrats who control the Minnesota House of Representatives ...


Video Below:  Presentation by Ryan Rothstein, Kanati Wildlife Consulting LLC. Part of the Minnesota Woodland Owner Workshop series,.  Posted March 21, 2022

Wild deer with Chronic Wasting Disease discovered in Grand Rapids  March 22, 2022 Minnesota,  Bring Me The News

... The Minnesota DNR said the CWD case — the first detected in a wild deer in that specific permit area — was confirmed March 15, about a month after the animal's carcass was discovered in the backyard of a Grand Rapids home...


White-tailed deer farmers could get financial help after feeling impacts of movement bans March 16, 2022 Minnesota House of Representatives - Minnesota Legislature

... HF3903, sponsored by Rep. John Burkel (R-Badger), would appropriate $1 million to the Department of Agriculture to reimburse farmers for expenses and lost revenue due to the temporary movement bans.  Payments of up to $10,000 would be on a first-come, first-served basis ...


CWD, County concerned about CWD March 14, 2022 Minnesota, Grand Rapids Herald-Review

...  Commissioners voted to send a letter of support to state legislators ... We support the current legislative language proposed in HF 2814 and SF 3037 as well as legislation to prohibit new captive deer farms ...


CWD, Proposed moratorium on new deer farms moves on to environment committee March 7, 2022. Minnesota House of Representatives

... “Chronic wasting disease is a strong focus ... the DNR and the Board of Animal Health issued their joint report finding that there was about a 34% infraction rate on their inspected farms. These included inadequate fencing, inadequate gates, refusing inspection. We believe we’ve reached the point where the wild deer herd is under significant threat.” ...


Minnesota's winter's severity burdening deer Up North March 4, 2022 StarTribune

... From the southern boundary of Crow Wing County to the tip of the Northwest Angle, Minnesota's whitetail deer have been battling winter conditions considered severe or well on their way to becoming severe ... scattered reports of fawns dying from starvation ...


The Uncertain Future of the Minnesota Moose Population February 23, 2022 Field & Stream

... the state  ’s moose population fell 66 percent between 2006 and 2013, from 9,000 to under 3,000...For the nine years since, the population has remained stable... Decades of milder winters ... the tick population goes up... moose with thousands of ticks on them ...


Deep snow, subzero nights work against northern Minnesota deer again February 19, 2022 TwinCities.com

... the region’s white-trailed deer are likely to feel the impacts of yet another harsh winter... “Deer appear to be struggling as we approach close to two feet of snow on the ground, and a lot of winter left,” Fondie wrote in his report this week. “Wolf activity is plentiful.” ...


Is Wyoming's present Minnesota's future? One deer herd more than 60% CWD infected February 17, 2022 Minnesota, StarTribune

... CWD outbreaks often occurring close to ''captive cervid'' operations, as deer and elk farms are known... As CWD spreads, it will turn hunters off to hunting while also reducing hunting opportunities...


Hines deer farmer fights Board of Animal Health after illegal dumping of CWD-infected deer carcasses February 9, 2022 Minnesota, The Bemidji Pioneer

... The owner of the Hines deer farm, whose herd was infected with chronic wasting disease in early 2021 ... is refusing to pay for a $194,000 exclusionary fence constructed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ... 


Deer continue to thrive in Mankato February 6, 2022 Minnesota, Yahoo News

... Hunters have turned 514 deer within Mankato's city limits into venison since a special archery hunt was instituted in 2003... An aerial survey of deer by the Department of Natural Resources two years ago counted 166 making their home in Mankato. That's substantially more than the 137 counted by the DNR in 2004 ...


Minnesota DNR calls for tougher deer farm rules to fight chronic wasting disease February 2, 2022 The Derrick

... The recommendations stem from inspections of 50 deer farms toward the end of last year.

According to the report, inspectors found 17 violations of rules designed to keep CWD from spreading inside farms and outward, to wild deer. Ten of the farms had inadequate fencing ...


Minnesota DNR calls for tougher deer farm regulations February 1, 2022 StarTribune

... The recommendations stem from inspections of 50 deer farms toward the end of last year. According to the report, inspectors found 17 violations of rules designed to keep CWD from spreading inside farms and outward, to wild deer. Ten of the farms had inadequate fencing ...


Alexandria seeks input on possible deer hunt in city limits February 1, 2022 Minnesota, Echo Press

... The Alexandria City Council looked into the idea of a hunt last year but ultimately decided not to pursue it until safety issues were addressed...




 Minnesota data:  A rough estimate from the state reported in 2023 put the deer population at nearly 1 million.  The decline in deer sightings by hunters at the beginning of the 2023 hunt and the 8 percent drop in deer taken during the hunt raises concerns that the population is declining, particularly in the north.  An early 2020 state forecast put the deer population between 900,000 to 1 million deer, or about 950,000 deer.  


A mild 2023-24 winter has allowed deer to recover after the past couple of hard winters.  A harsh, late winter for 2022-23 with heavy snow in the north kept deer numbers down - the most severe winter since 2013-14.  After a decade of declining deer populations in the northeast, DNR eliminated most antlerless permits for 2023 DNR's 2023-24 deer forecast. 


 The 2022-23 forecast summarizes that " Overall weather conditions had no impact on the deer herd and fawn production was very good."  Weather, habitat, and predators were cited as reasons for declining deer populations in some areas in 2022, but in the annual population trends report the DNR concluded that "Deer populations in most DPAs increased through 2022."   However, deer-vehicle collisions were on a downward trend with November, 2022, the lowest in 10 years.  A hard winter for 2021-22 in the north with the population about the same in the rest of the state for 2022DNR's 2022 Deer Population Trends.


The mild winter of 2020-21 benefited deer populations, but to compensate for previous deep-snow winters fewer doe permits were issued in the north.  DNR's 2021-22 forecast.  DNR's 2021 Deer Population Trends.   More licenses sold and mild weather contributed to the increase in the 2020 harvest numbers.   DNR's 2020-21 forecast  


Population goals in 2020 were to increase deer populations in the north where harsh weather and deep snow has kept the population down, to stabilize populations in the northwest and west, and slightly decrease populations in the central portions. In 2020 Minnesota built its first deer crossing structure to reduce vehicle collisions.  Research in 2020 concludes "herbivores on six continents can't can keep up with all the extra plant life dominating grasslands  ... including Minnesota."  A rough 2019-20 winter and some harsh winters since 2013 reduced deer numbers.  


DNR forecast for 2019-20.   In 2019 462,095 deer hunting licenses sold compared to 521,951 in 2012.  Based on harvest data, a population of about 935,000 deer in 2019 and 960,000 in 2018.  The state expected the 2019 population to be down slightly from 2018.  In 2019 the DNR cited commercial deer hunting as a possible threat to the herd.  Harvest data indicates a modest downward trend from a state estimate of about 1 million deer in 2016 and 2017, but up from about 850,000 deer in 2015, 800,000 in 2014.  


A rough winter in 2018-19 resulted in a drastic population decline in northern areas according to the DNR, but three mild winters, 2014-17, and fewer antlerless permits allowed for an upward upward trend.  The 2017-18 winter was a mild to average winter with increased deer permits for 2018. Fawn survival was higher.  Also mild in 2016-17.  More hunting permits in 2016, although a conservative approach for the north and northeast to allow the herd to grow.  A mild 2015-16 winter, the second in a row, increased deer populations.


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 two severe winters, 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.  In 2015, hunters spent more than $725 million on equipment, food, licenses and permits.  Hunters were expressing dissatisfaction with the number of deer in 2015.  Read the 2016 state audit of Minnesota Deer Management:  Full Report or Summary.  Summary of 2016 deer plan.  


Deer Farms  In 2017 there were 421 deer and elk farms in the state.  In 2019 there were 339 licensed deer and elk farms in the state, 308 in 2020, 259 in 2021.   In 2021, the law was changed allowing the DNR to inspect the 174 whitetail deer farms.  About 150 deer and elk farms in 2022, down from 400 in 2005.  In 2023 Cook county became the first county to ban deer farms.  By the end of 2023 the number of deer farms in the state had dropped to 125 and the decline was expected to continue based on new laws regarding their operation.


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. 


About 1 million deer in 2012 and 2011 after a few years of a downward trend.  A population estimate of 1,200,000 deer in 2009.  An estimate of 1.1 million in 2003.


Minnesota Deer Harvest, 1918 to 2016 from 2016 Deer Plan Information

History   Deer were rare in northern Minnesota at the time of European settlement, forests were much different and dominated by elk and caribou.  Clearing of forests by settlers in the mid-1800s improved deer habitat for deer in central Minnesota, but agricultural land conversion began to reduce habitat quality and with significant market and subsistence hunting, deer were rare in many parts of the state by the 1880s.


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.


 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 fell 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. Hard winters have taken a toll on the upper Minnesota herd with four hard winters out of the seven prior to 2015.  There was little fawn survival in 2014 which was the second most severe on record. 


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.  The northern pine forests are poor deer habitat.


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)  First detected in 2002 at a deer farm in  Aitkin County.  The first case was a wild deer that tested positive was killed by an archer in 2010 south of Pine Island.  Over three years 5,000 deer within a 330 square mile area were killed and tested - none positive.   In November, 2016, CWD was discovered in wild deer near Preston/Lanesboro in the southeast.   Also in 2016,  a captive deer in Meeker County tested positive,  a doe purchased from a Crow Wing County farm in 2014.  Additional captive deer have since tested positive.  


Testing in 2017 found six confirmed and one suspected case in the disease management zone, down from 11 in 2016, but no cases outside the established zone.  More in 2018, 34 in the 2018-19 season, and 2019.  In 2020, 22 positives but testing was reduced because of the Covid pandemic.  More in deer farms and the wild in 2021, controversial bans on captive deer movement, and University of Minnesota researchers develop a field test for CWDOnline CIDRAP CWD Resource Center.  Positives for 2022 and 2023.  As of November, 2023, 130,000 wild deer were tested since 2002 with 236 testing positive.  No wild elk or moose since 2004.  During the 2023-24 hunting season 44 positive cases in deer.


Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) was first identified n Minnesota in October 2018 when the Minnesota Animal Health Board confirmed six deer on a farm in Goodhue County.  The first two cases in the wild herd were found in Stearns county in 2019 and a third in Houston County.  Four reindeer were infected in a zoo in 2020.  An outbreak in 2021 and an experimental vaccine tested in a zoo.


Insecticides and toxic chemicals:  In 2021, insecticide was found in 94 percent of the deer in one test. Long-term monitoring reported in 2021 shows 7% of Minnesota venison laced with toxic lead from bullets. Testing for cancer causing chemicals in 2020.  


Covid  Some deer test positive for covid in 2022.


Moose population reported to be 3,470  in 2024 estimated at 3,290 in 2023, between 3,000 and 4,000 in 2022, at 3,150 in 2020. In 2020 research about how as wolf numbers go up and elk numbers go down and effect of brainworm resulting in a 50 percent decine from 2006.  Ticks have also  reduced populations.  An estimate of 4,180 moose in early 2019 with brainworm identified as a major threat.  An estimate of 3,030 in early 2018, statistically unchanged from the 3,710 estimated for early 2017 in the northeastern part of the state, statistically unchanged from the estimate of 4,020 in 20162005-2016 population.  Estimated at 3,450 in 2015.  The moose population dropped from a peak of about 8,800 in 2006 to an estimated 4,230 to 2,760 between 2012 and 2013 -- 3,450 based on an aerial survey reported in early 2015.  Biologists are studying the cause of the decline.   The population in the northeastern corner of the state peaked at 8,840 in 2006. By then they had already largely disappeared from the northwestern corner of Minnesota. 


Moose Population

 2005 8,160 

 2006 8,840 

 2007 6,860 

 2008 7,890 

 2009 7,890 

 2010 5,700 

 2011 4,900 

 2012 4,230 

 2013 2,760 

 2014 4,350 

 2015 3,450 

 2016 4,020 

 2017 3,710 

 2018 3,030 

 2019 4,180

 2020       3,150 

 2021 No survey

2022       4,700

2023       3,290

Source:  Minnesota DNR


 Elk were abundant prior to extermination by European immigrants in the late 1800's.  About 130 elk in 2016 in the northwest.  In 2019 researchers find that the northeast could support at least 550 elk.  Tribal support in 2020.


Caribou were abundant in the northern part of the state but were hunted to extinction by the 1930's and 40's.  The few remaining on Lake Superior Islands were air lifted to a new island location in 2018.


Wolves  An estimated 2,700 wolves in 2021.  A 2024 video of a wolf killing a deer near humans raises concerns and many hunters blame wolves for the decline of the northern deer herd.  About the same for several years.  In 2021 a live video camera was placed on a wolf.  As of 2020, the state had been paying out about 135,000 per year for wolf kills over the previous decade.  An estimated  2,696 in 2020 and 2,700 wolves in 2019.  About 2,655 wolves in 456 packs in early 2018.  An estimated 2,856 wolves in 2017.  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 350 - 750 in the 1950's and 1960's.  Peak of of about 3,020 in 2003-2004.  Wolves were never wiped out from Minnesota, the only state of the lower 48.

 

Isle Royale wolf-moose study.  


Cougar  Some have been spotted.  From 2004 to December, 2023, 77 confirmed sightings.