The 11th of 13 meetings across the state that will contribute to Minnesota’s first-ever deer management plan was held at the National Guard Training and Community Center (TACC) in Montevideo on Monday evening.

The 11th of 13 meetings across the state that will contribute to Minnesota’s first-ever deer management plan was held at the National Guard Training and Community Center (TACC) in Montevideo on Monday evening.

Several Minnesota Depart­ment of Natural Resources officials were present, including Adam Murkowski, the DNR’s big game program leader.

Murkowski said that when most people think about deer management, they think about hunting. Although deer hunting has been one of the prime topics of discussion at these meetings, greater emphasis has been placed on habitat for deer, which can be found in all of Minne­sota’s 87 counties.

The DNR is asking deer hunters and the public to think “long range” — 10 to 20 years down the road — about the best ways to manage the state’s deer population.

Deer hunting generates $500 million annually to the state’s economy,” said Murkowski. About 650,000 licenses were sold and about 173,000 deer were harvested in 2016, which was up from the 2015 harvest of almost 160,000. This year’s mild winter should contribute to increased deer reproduction this year.

The meeting in Montevideo was attended by about 75 people, including a dozen from the DNR.

Attendees broke into small groups to brainstorm and write  down their concerns and possible solutions for Minnesota to have a healthy deer population.

Input from the statewide meetings will be included in Minnesota’s Deer Management Plan, which is scheduled to be finalized in the spring of 2018.

Murkowski took over his current position as the state’s big game leader in January of 2016. “I’ve still got velvet on my antlers,” he laughed.

“Overall, the meetings have been very positive,” said Mur­kow­ski. “I’ve been impressed with how people are grappling with issues.”


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