Hunters say there aren't enough deer

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 1, 2014 - 9:21 PM

DNR hears call for bigger herd, better communication.

hide

How many deer should roam Minnesota? It depends on whom you ask. The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association wants more input.

Photo: Brian Peterson • brian.peterson@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

More deer.

That, in a nutshell, is what most of the state’s deer hunters and members of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association want, says Mark Johnson, MDHA executive director.

He says the Department of Natural Resources lowered the whitetail population too much, which, combined with recent severe winters, has dropped deer numbers in many areas to unacceptable levels.

But more deer is only a start.

“We’d like more deer, more communication [from the DNR] and more input,’’ Johnson said.

He made those recommendations — and more — in a recent letter to DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. Landwehr responded Friday:

“We fully understand that most hunters want more deer, and we also agree that deer numbers are currently low across much of Minnesota. We are taking steps immediately to increase deer numbers where they are below goals. Hunters in most of Minnesota will see a very conservative deer season next fall …’’

With more than a half-million whitetail hunters, deer management remains a hot topic following the lowest ­harvest in 15 years last fall.

The agency held six public “listening sessions’’ this spring around the state to get input from hunters as it re-examines statewide deer density goals set in 2005-07. The DNR announced new goals for southeastern Minnesota last week (see www.startribune.com/outdoors), completing a process that started in February. It’s the only region where deer density goals will be reviewed this year, but large swaths of central, north-central and northeastern Minnesota will be reviewed next year. The process will conclude in 2016.

Johnson, who leads the 15,000-member group — the state’s largest deer organization — attended all six listening sessions. Hunters, he said:

• Want to see more deer, and they want the DNR to start the process immediately.

• Feel current deer population goals are too low and are skeptical the current estimated deer population is correct.

• Are frustrated and confused about why many permit areas seem to be consistently managed below stated goals.

• Are willing to have less opportunity now to increase the deer herd.

• Want greater input in the deer goal-setting process.

Landwehr noted that the DNR must consider a cross-section of interests when setting deer densities.

Johnson acknowledged that satisfying everyone is difficult, because hunters, motorists, farmers and foresters often have different perspectives. But while there may have been too many deer in the early 2000s, which led the DNR to reduce numbers, Johnson said the agency has lowered the population too far.

“Our harvest went from around 250,000 to 170,000 last year,’’ he said. “That’s a huge swing.’’

  • related content

  • Feeding the deer

    Sunday June 1, 2014

    feeding deer — and challengesLast winter’s first state emergency winter deer feeding program in 18 years fueled deer — and...

  • Anderson: Steelhead season is over on the North Shore

    Sunday June 1, 2014

    Steelheading is a long-shot game, and this father-son team hoped to cash in.

  • The DNR plans to set deer population goals in five regions in 2015 and six regions in 2016. It already has completed the process in three regions, including the latest, the southeast.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 0 2nd Prd
NY Rangers 0
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close