I agree with most of what Dennis Anderson said regarding the slow and steady decline of ducks in Minnesota (“One day, the ducks will disappear,” Feb. 7). He places most of the blame on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Many deer hunters also fault the DNR for a precipitous decline in deer numbers across the state.
In my opinion, in farmland areas, a problem almost equal to the DNR is declining fawn habitat. Adult deer can survive in many types of habitat — woodlands, cattails, etc. Fawns, in the first couple of weeks, need wooded areas with grass-filled openings. These woodlots, groves and creek bottoms are rapidly disappearing due to logging, development and outright removal.
Could deer numbers in farmland areas decline to the point of the DNR canceling the deer season? I think so. In the 1930s and ’40s, when deer were spotted in farmland areas it was a rare event and made the local newspapers. Also, due to a decline in deer numbers, there was no deer season in 1971.
I suggest a deer stamp program similar to the pheasant ($7.50) and waterfowl ($7.50 state and $15 federal) stamp programs. (There has been a recent proposal to raise the federal duck stamp to $25). The money would be dedicated to the purchase of farmland wooded habitat.
CLARK MEYER, Elysian, Minn.