DNR hosts second round of area open houses for deer conversation

Public can meet local wildlife staff and learn about upcoming hunting season changes

Local wildlife managers across the state are again inviting the public to come to open house meetings to ask their deer-related questions and offer thoughts on deer issues.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is dedicating time from mid-August to early September to discuss deer-related topics including upcoming hunting regulation changes that will be released in early August. Specific time and location details are available on the deer plan webpage at mndnr.gov/deerplan.

These local, open house meetings are a way to encourage conversations about deer and deer management, enhance local relationships and foster two-way communication between the DNR and the public.

The DNR began the meetings last year with the release of its statewide deer management plan. This is the second dedicated opportunity for conversation about deer-related topics this year; the first meetings were held in March and April.

“After the productive discussions we had in spring, we’re really looking forward to the additional conversation at these open houses,” said Barbara Keller, the DNR’s big game program leader. “These events are great opportunities for people to learn more about specific regulations changes this year and get their questions answered as we approach hunting season. They also provide an opportunity for us to receive public input that will help us plan for the coming year.”

In addition to discussing general concerns about deer, individuals can ask DNR staff about last year’s harvest data, provide topics that the DNR’s deer advisory committee should be aware of, and discuss upcoming hunting season changes. Regulations for the 2019 season will be released in early August and reflect disease management needs, as well as feedback that was gathered from surveys and open house meetings in the spring.

The open houses do not include formal presentations; people can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting times.

The DNR encourages people who can’t attend a scheduled meeting, but who have questions about deer management, to contact a local wildlife manager. A list of area wildlife offices is available online at mndnr.gov/areas/wildlife.

More about the Minnesota deer management plan

The DNR released the Minnesota White-Tailed Deer Management Plan in July 2018, setting new goals and priorities, increasing formal opportunities for people to influence deer decisions, and aiming for a disease-free deer population. The plan was a result of two years of planning that involved statewide meetings and hundreds of in-depth conversations with the public and interest groups. The full plan is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deerplan.

Benson takes first in Bass Snatchers tournament

With a total catch of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, Tim Benson placed first in the Baxter Bass Snatchers third tournament of the season recently on Farm Island Lake.

Chuck Steinbauer placed second with 15 pounds, 10 ounces; and Dave Maas took third with 14 pounds, 8 ounces.

Benson also caught the Lunker of the Day, a 3 pound, 5 ounce bass.

For the tournament, 20 anglers caught and released 93 bass.