A new state plan years in the making to manage the state’s deer population was announced Tuesday by the Department of Natural Resources, and includes a target harvest of 200,000 whitetails.
Reviews of the draft plan were mixed in April, after more than a year of discussions with a citizen advisory committee representing hunters, foresters, farmers, ecologists and the agency’s big game wildlife experts.
The plan is multi-pronged, focusing on a target harvest, as well as greater citizen participation.
“We’ve listened, and the plan reflects that,” said DNR commissioner Tom Landwehr in a news release. “The document is largely about sharing a vision, clarifying expectations and improving two-way communication among hunters and others stakeholders for the benefit of deer management.”
In April when the draft plan was released, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Executive Director Craig Engwall told the Star Tribune that the plan meets three areas of his concern: more deer, more input from citizens and protecting the health of wild deer.
The deer hunters’ group advocated for a yearly target harvest of 225,000 deer.
The plan calls for an annual harvest target of 200,000 deer, after DNR deer biologists pushed for a target of 190,000 deer.
The plan calls for annual “deer management discussions” around the state, as part of the state’s push for more transparency and input.
Read the DNR’s multipage plan here.
Stay tuned for an in-depth story at startribune.com.