landwehr's comments on deer

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr's responses published on this page last Sunday to Dennis Anderson's questions regarding DNR deer management. The entire Q&A is available online at

Q Regarding deer, some hunters want the DNR's whitetail management program reviewed by the Legislature, as Wisconsin's was, which led to big changes in that state.

A I haven't heard from any legislators who want to do that. Deer numbers are down in Minnesota because five years ago citizen goal-management teams decided to reduce the herd. And the past two winters have been hard on deer.

Q In your opinion, how large should Minnesota's deer herd be?

A The current citizen goal-setting process will establish deer density by permit areas. Which is OK. But I'd also like to see it approached another way. Statewide, what should our harvest be? If the 130,000 we harvested this year is too low, and the 210,000 of a few years back is too high, what should it be? … I think somewhere between the two. Maybe something around 180,000 is a middle ground for average harvest.