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Record success at Camp Ripley archery hunt

Central Lakes College Natural Resource Program and MNDNR staff manning the check station at the Camp Ripley Archery Hunt on October 28th, 2017. Left to right: Beau Liddell (DNR), Dr. Bill Faber (CLC), Tod Tonsager (DNR), Jorden Thatcher (CLC), Ally Kirsch (CLC), Zach Kramer (CLC), Kelsie Hanson (CLC), and Bobbie Hauser (CLC). The hunt is administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Central Lakes College Natural Resource Program and the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs. – DNR photo.1 / 2
Central Lakes College Natural Resource Program staff manning the check station at the Camp Ripley Archery Hunt on Oct. 19. The hunt is administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Central Lakes College Natural Resource Program and the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs. – CLC photo.2 / 2

CAMP RIPLEY—Archers took 263 deer during this year's archery hunts in October at Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls, representing a 132 percent increase from last year's total harvest.

There were 2,570 permits issued, with 2,011 hunters participating. Although participation declined this year, harvest increased 132 percent from last year's total take, and participants experienced a record-high success rate of 13.1 percent.

The Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program coordinated morning check-in and provided deer registration services at the hunts, which took place Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 28-29.

"It was a successful hunt on all fronts," said Dr. William 'Bill' Faber, Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program Instructor, in a news release. "Over 130 percent percent increase in deer harvest over last year's total together with an overall high of hunter satisfaction, e.g., numbers of deer observed per hunter."

Since 1954 the event has successfully been administered with the cooperation between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Military Affairs in order to maintain management of the deer population in keeping with proper resource management practices.

This year, as the fall weather slowly moves out of Minnesota, the event welcomed a new partner to the team. Staff and students of the Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program took the lead as administering this year's hunt.

"We have a strong partnership with Central Lakes College and the event is a great opportunity to train students pursuing a career in wildlife management," said Beau Liddell, wildlife manager at Little Falls for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "We also received excellent cooperation from hunters to test their deer for chronic wasting disease that will assist with meeting sampling goals for deer permit area 248."

Traditionally the public archery hunt is one of the largest bow hunts in the country, offering the opportunity to get one of Minnesota's great white-tails. Participants experienced a record-high success rate of 13.1 percent.

Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program students coordinated morning check-in and provided deer registration services for the 263 deer that were harvested from Camp Ripley.

"Working the archery hunt at Camp Ripley was a lot of fun, and a good learning experience," said Brenden Thompson, second-year Natural Resource student at Central Lakes College. "It was a great opportunity to teach the hunters how to age deer and many of them were very interested in the process."

Managing the Flora and Fauna resources on Camp Ripley is a consistent and cooperative assignment in order to preserve the balance of maintaining Minnesota's natural environment, supporting the community and meeting the mission requirements of those that utilize the facility for training.

"I couldn't be more satisfied with the overall experience, and look forward to the continued collaboration in future years with the Minnesota DNR and the Camp Ripley Environmental Team," added Faber.

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