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Minnesota deer population goal-setting underway south of Duluth

Permit areas in Carlton, Aitkin and Pine counties are included.

The Minnesota DNR is setting new deer population goals for several permit areas in east-central and southern Minnesota.
File / Duluth News Tribune

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking for public input on deer population goals in 23 deer permit areas in eastern and south-central Minnesota, including several areas in Carlton, Pine and Aitkin counties.

Hunters and others interested in deer populations, namely whether the DNR should work to increase deer numbers, lower deer numbers or try to keep them the same, can get involved by attending an online or in-person meeting and submitting written comments online or by mail.

Online comments will be accepted from Jan. 23 to Feb. 13.

Opportunities for input will include an online questionnaire, a webinar and two in-person public meetings for those who wish to connect directly with an area wildlife manager on the topic.

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“We’re excited to hear people’s thoughts and encourage anyone with an interest in deer management to give feedback on deer population trends in the areas where they live, work and recreate,” Todd Froberg, DNR big game program coordinator, said in a statement announcing the meetings.


The DNR has been rotating the population goal setting process across the state, and this year’s deer permit areas under review include 152, 155, 156, 157, 159, 172 and 183 in north-central Minnesota; areas 221, 222, 225, 248, 249 and 604 in the East Central Uplands goal block; and areas 219, 223, 224, 227, 229, 235, 236, 285, 338 and 605 in southern Minnesota.

“We strongly encourage people to join us for the webinar and in-person meetings,” Froberg said. “Anyone may participate, regardless of affiliation or knowledge of the process, and we’ll present useful information, answer questions and provide participants several options to share their opinions.”

A Jan. 23 webinar will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. giving participants information about both goal blocks and explaining the goal-setting process. It will be recorded and posted online for those who can’t participate. Participants will be able to ask questions and provide input during the webinar.

An in-person meeting is set for Jan. 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Pine Technical and Community College, 900 Fourth St. SE, Pine City.

Another in-person meeting is set for Jan. 31 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Dakota B Room at Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th E., Rosemount.

You can access the online meeting, see details about goals in each region, how to participate in the process, meeting schedules and how to access the questionnaire at dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/deer/management/population.html .

Written comments can be emailed to deergoalsettingsurvey.dnr@state.mn.us or mailed to Barb Keller, Fish and Wildlife Division, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155. Comments must be received by Feb. 13 to be considered in the goal-setting process.

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John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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