Local DNR staff hosting open house about deer
Anyone interested in deer can talk with area wildlife managers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 at the Park Rapids Area Library.
According to a news release, "this local, open-house-style meeting is a way to encourage discussions 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.
The DNR released the Minnesota White-Tailed Deer Management Plan in July 2018, setting new goals and priorities, increasing formal opportunities for citizens 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 citizens and stakeholders. The full plan is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deerplan.
In addition to discussing general concerns about deer, individuals can ask local DNR staff about last year's harvest data, share observations, discuss potential season changes and get a preview of the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Response Plan that has been updated since the 2010 edition and will be formally released in April. Season changes include a proposed statewide youth deer hunting season.
No formal presentations have been planned. People can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting time.
The DNR will provide further online feedback opportunities for the public, with surveys that will cover CWD management alternatives, perception of local deer populations, and potential hunting season changes for deer and other species. The survey addressing CWD will be available online at mndnr.gov/deerplan in late March. Online feedback opportunities concerning deer perceptions and season changes will be available in early April.
The DNR encourages anyone who can't attend the meeting to contact Erik Thorson, Park Rapids area wildlife supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-732-8452, ext. 235, for additional information or to address any questions about deer management.