feeding deer — and challenges

Last winter’s first state emergency winter deer feeding program in 18 years fueled deer — and controversy. Deer hunters supported it; the DNR opposed it.

Agency officials said they wanted to discuss the future of emergency deer feeding, which the Legislature funded by diverting 50 cents from every deer licensee into a special fund. The hunters group wants to meet in July or August. No date has been set.

Volunteers distributed about 1 million pounds over seven weeks, and figure they fed about 16,000 deer, or about 17 percent of the deer in those areas. About $200,000 was spent, or $12.50 a deer. Volunteers said the deer looked physically improved within weeks of feeding.