People can apply to serve on a committee that will help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources develop the state’s first-ever deer management plan.
The deer management plan advisory committee will meet throughout 2017 to review technical information and public input and make recommendations for the development of the plan.
Overall goals of the deer plan include setting a statewide harvest objective; addressing regional variations in deer habitat and populations; and describing and guiding the DNR’s responsibilities and activities related to deer management.
“It is important for the DNR to work with individuals and groups interested in deer management, especially hunters, and develop a statewide deer management plan that benefits all citizens of the state,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader.
Participation in this committee is voluntary and temporary. The committee will consist of 15 to 20 members representing the breadth of interests related to deer management. About two-thirds of the seats will be filled by invited representatives of hunting, agriculture, conservation, forestry and other organizations.
Groups that have been invited to participate in the advisory committee include: the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association; Quality Deer Management Association; Bluffland Whitetails Association; Women Hunting and Fishing in all Seasons; Minnesota Farm Bureau; Minnesota Farmers Union; the 1854 Treaty Authority; Minnesota Conservation Federation; Minnesota Forest Resources Partnership; The Nature Conservancy and the Minnesota Department of Health.
In addition to the group representatives, five to eight at-large seats will be filled through the application process and are open to any interested citizens and groups. People have until Wednesday, Oct. 19, to apply for the at-large seats. The committee will be in place starting in December, through the duration of the planning process and until the deer management plan is completed in the spring of 2018.
Information about the committee structure, functions, expectations of appointed members, and how to apply are available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/deerplan or by calling 651-259-5198.
The planning process will include opportunities for citizen participation beyond the advisory committee, including public meetings, online comments and small group discussions. DNR staff also will talk with participants about ways to stay involved and engaged in deer management even after the deer plan is developed and implemented.
An updated deer management webpage at www.mndnr.gov/deer makes a wide variety of information easier to find. The new page includes links to information about deer hunting, harvest requirements, news, reports, statistics, opinion surveys and disease management.
To stay informed about the deer management planning process, opportunities to get involved, and other important deer-related topics, subscribe to the Deer Notes email list online at www.mndnr.gov/deer.
The DNR works to protect and maintain Minnesota’s white-tailed deer for public use. The deer population, which varies in density from place to place and year to year, is dependent on adequate habitat and directly influenced by the severity of winter weather. Deer are ecologically, socially and economically important in a state where hunting and wildlife watching generate more than $1.3 billion in annual economic impacts.