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Continued: Dinner for deer: Emergency feeding program to begin

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  • Last update: March 6, 2014 - 10:12 AM

“The interest has been overwhelming,’’ Johnson said. “We’ll have over 200 volunteers, and the phone keeps ringing.’’

Bobendrier is a member of the Tamarack Sno-Flyers snowmobile club, which is allowing him to use the club’s trail-grooming machine to clear deer feeding areas. The idea is to put the feed on cleared ground or packed trails, so it doesn’t sink into snow.

Clasen’s MDHA chapter will pay for the fuel, and Bobendrier is happy to help. “I’m a big deer hunter,’’ he said. “Any time I can donate my time, I do it.’’

Johnson said the feed approved by the DNR includes corn, oats, soybean, wheat and molasses and contains about 14 percent protein. He expects demand will exceed supply, and said his group might ask the DNR for more funding. Fifty cents from each deer license is funneled into the account, which until now has been used to fight chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis in wild deer. The DNR wants to retain about $600,000 in the account for those purposes.

“We want to be conservative, so we’re starting with one pound per animal per day,’’ Johnson said. “This is supplemental feeding; we still want them to eat browse.’’

Additional snowfall could be problematic, because it could bury feed that has been placed in the woods, Johnson said.

People are enthusiastic about feeding deer, Johnson said. “The amount of recreational feeding is unbelievable,’’ he said.

“I always knew a lot of people fed, but not to this extent.’’

 

Doug Smith • 612-673-7667

Twitter: @dougsmithstrib

 

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  • Members of the McGregor chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association watch Wayne Bobendrier of the Tamarack Sno-Flyers snowmobile club plow a trail in the woods near McGregor on Monday where emergency deer feeding will occur.

  • Whitetail deer browse on tree buds in the Wood Lake Nature Center Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Richfield, MN.

  • Dan Guida of rural McGregor poured deer food on a plowed logging trail in a patch of state land heavily used by deer. Guida is a member of the local Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. A state-endorsed emergency deer feeding effort, using deer hunting license dollars, will begin this week in some parts of northern Minnesota.

  • A deer near an area in Aitkin County where emergency deer feeding will occur.

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