Minnesota hunters are claiming small deer numbers are likely due to mismanagement by state wildlife officials.
A movement led by a group comprised of Minnesota hunters claims that Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials have taken steps to reduce the whitetail population without fully informing the state’s hunters, according to the Star Tribune.
Brooks Johnson, President of Minnesota Bowhunters, said the group’s intent is to have Minnesota’s Legislature order an audit of the state’s current wildlife management plan by a neutral party to ensure the whitetail population does not suffer.
Minnesota DNR spokesperson Leslie Mclnenly stated the DNR is aware of the growing discontent among the state’s hunters. The DNR plans to hold several public input meetings this winter to receive feedback from Minnesota hunters to help the agency revise deer population goals.
Mclnenly seems confident that her department has allocated the right number of resources to the state’s deer herd, but is open to revising the state’s management model to reflect the wishes of the state’s deer hunters.
Minnesota’s current management strategy for the whitetail deer herd is to maintain the current population. The DNR’s current management strategy also allows for the issuance of doe permits before the onset of winter. In northern regions of the state, this can cause deer numbers to drop drastically depending on weather conditions and hunter harvest rates.
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Regardless of how the conflict plays out within Minnesota’s Legislative branch, Johnson’s group has raised serious questions about the future of Minnesota’s deer herd.
What are your thoughts on Minnesota’s current whitetail management plan? Please comment below and share in this important discussion.