Skip to main content

Hunting group disappointed by DNR decision not to feed deer

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Deep snow and bitter cold are making this a tough winter for northern Minnesota's deer herd. The Department of Natural Resources has decided against feeding wild deer, though – leading to disappointment among hunters.

The leader of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association tells FOX 9 it's the second straight winter that's stifling the deer population. "It's all about keeping that small population of deer in a target area alive and producing fawns so we raise the number of deer in that area," Mark Johnson tells the station.

But as the Star Tribune reports, the DNR says feeding deer is not very effective and can lead to the spread of diseases such as bovine tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease as animals congregate at feeders.

Minnesota also had back-t0-back winters when deer mortality was high during the 1990s. The Star Tribune says estimates had the deer herd shrinking by 30 percent in 1995-96 and by another 8 percent the following winter. The newspaper recounts that the DNR opposed feeding at that time, but was ultimately ordered to do so by the Legislature.

The agency uses a system known as the Winter Severity Index to measure the toll the season is taking on deer. A DNR official tells outdoors writer Sam Cook the index is running above its average mid-season level for much of northern Minnesota, but is not at the level of those harsh years during the '90s.

You can check the county-by-county map of the winter severity index here.

Separately, KARE 11 reports the DNR plans two public hearings in southeastern Minnesota this month to talk about how to manage the deer population in that region. The DNR's index shows this winter is not a particularly harsh one for deer in the southeast.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 7.34.26 AM

Man dies after shooting on St. Paul's East Side

It happened on the same night a man was fatally shot by police in the nearby Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.

Police tape

St. Paul police hit man with squad car, fatally shoot him

Police said officers responded to a domestic incident involving the suspect Monday night.

RogerEbnetMugshotYellowStone

Charges: Minnesota elementary school teacher sexually assaulted 3 boys

The incidents were captured on video taken inside an elementary school classroom.

Police tape

Person shot by police in St. Paul Monday evening

It happened around 6:10 p.m. on the city's East Side.

Kollie Jr.

Woman killed in Moorhead identified as suspect's mother

An appeal has been issued to find the suspect's vehicle, which remains missing.

Hamilton

Ticket details released for 5-week run of 'Hamilton' in Minneapolis

The tour of the production has been delayed twice due to the pandemic.

GummiesDeathByGummyBears

Minnesota Board of Pharmacy files lawsuit against 3 THC edible retailers

The board has received 46 complaints in the past four months regarding the products.

Screen Shot 2022-12-05 at 2.53.55 PM

ATF now investigating fire at Lyndale Avenue apartment building

It was the second fire at a vacant building owned by the same landlord that was being used by squatters in the past few months.

FB_IMG_1668547011137

Let the good times roll

Minnesota Roller Derby is back!

StumpysGoogleMaps

Beloved restaurant in southeastern MN to close after 40 years

A final night of celebrations is scheduled for Dec. 17.

PrinsburgGoogle

MN town shelves ordinance allowing residents to sue abortion providers

Attorney General Keith Ellison advised the town to not go forward with the ordinance.

Related