DNR seeks input on deer populations in north-central Minnesota
Public input on revised deer population goals in southwestern and north-central Minnesota is being collected through an online survey on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) website at www.mndnr.gov/deergoals.
Earlier this year, the DNR worked with three stakeholder teams to help re-determine deer population goals in 12 permit areas in the southwest and 10 permit areas in north-central Minnesota.
The teams represented such interests as deer hunters, landowners, businesses, counties and conservation/environmental groups, and met to recommend if deer populations should be increased, decreased or stabilized for each of the selected permit areas.
The online survey allows the public to react to team recommendations and inform the DNR on their point of view regarding deer populations. A similar process was used as a final step to gather public input in 2008.
This information, along with the stakeholder team recommendations, will be used to set the 2012 deer season. Deer population goals for the remainder of the state will be revaluated in the next year or two.
"Back in 2008, hundreds of people provided us input using the internet," said Steve Merchant, DNR Wildlife Population Program manager. "This year we expect that level of public participation to increase even more."
Public comment will be accepted through Monday, May 1. Once public input is complete and results are analyzed, a decision on deer populations will be made for each permit area and the 2012 deer season harvest strategies will be adjusted accordingly.
Written comments may be mailed to: Steve Merchant, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Box 20, 500 Lafayette Road, Saint Paul, MN 55155.