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DNR deer plan meeting scheduled for Wednesday in Two Harbors

Mar 28, 2019 08:13AM ● By Editor

From the Lake County News Chronicle - March 28, 2019

Ever wonder how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets deer hunting regulations like doe permits? Want to know how you can provide input on deer management in your local area? Now’s your chance.

Minnesota DNR wildlife managers across the state are hosting public “open-house” meetings to ask their deer questions and learn more about deer management and local deer populations and goals.

The meetings are set for this week and next across the state, including April 3 from 4-6 p.m. at the Two Harbors DNR office, 1568 Highway 2.

Last year, the first time such public input sessions were held, they were very sparsely attended. But it's expected more people will show up this year now that there is more word out about the effort, after a winter of deep snow and some deer mortality, and after a winter of expanding chronic wasting disease in the state.

The meetings do not include formal presentations; people can arrive any time during the scheduled times. Other locations and more information are available on the DNR deer plan webpage at

From the MN DNR website.

Minnesota's White-tailed Deer Management Plan will guide deer management from 2019-2028.

The Plan benefits Minnesotans by outlining strategic direction, DNR responsibilities and new ways for the agency, citizens and stakeholders to address deer management.

The Plan was finalized in 2018. It reflects input from a 19-member citizen advisory committee; dozens of public meetings and open houses; more than 1,100 survey comments; and official letters from tribal governments, hunting organizations and others.

The Plan's eight major goals support a strategic direction that focuses on:

  1. Communication, information sharing, public involvement
  2. Deer stakeholder satisfaction
  3. Population management, monitoring, research
  4. Healthy deer
  5. Healthy habitat
  6. Impacts of deer on other resources
  7. Deer management funding
  8. Continuous improvement of deer management
View the complete deer plan  PDF

You are part of the plan

Minnesota's White-tailed Deer Management Plan was written with you in mind. It is intended to improve state deer management by increasing agency transparency, citizen trust and stakeholder satisfaction.

It is easy to remain part of the plan. You can be involved by:

  • Reviewing a copy of the deer plan  PDF and our deer plan brochure.  PDF
  • Talking to your local wildlife manager. Offices and phones numbers are listed here.
  • Signing-up for the DNR deer management newsletter that arrives by email. Just enter your email address at the bottom of this page.
  • Viewing the interactive deer management map. Updated annually with new information for every deer hunting permit area, the map is a great way to view deer data for your local area.
  • Emailing  or calling the DNR information line at 1-888-646-6367 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The information center staff are there to answer your questions or put you in touch with the appropriate person.

Two deer hunters walking on a trail

Sets a clear vision: The DNR wants Minnesotans to enjoy the benefits of a thriving and disease-free deer population. Components of that vision include deer population goals, habitat priorities, abundant hunting opportunities and actions that sustain our hunting heritage while balancing societal interests.

Commits to increased communication: The DNR will increase two-way communication with hunters, landowners and others by creating annual deer management discussions with interested citizens at area wildlife offices. Local meetings will provide hunters and others with a forum for sharing their observations, hearing DNR management proposals and identifying opportunities to improve deer management.

Clarifies population and harvest objectives: The Plan outlines goals and processes for setting deer population and harvest levels. This clarity is important because each year the DNR establishes the desired deer harvest to achieve a multi-year population objective at the deer permit area level. The DNR will also track annual harvests in relation to a statewide harvest target of 200,000 deer per year. This number reflects the approximate statewide harvest when deer populations are generally within goal range in most permit areas. This new approach provides a secondary statewide check on success in meeting population goals developed through public input.

Emphasizes herd health and habitat: The Plan provides direction to eliminate chronic wasting disease in wild deer, minimize the risk of new disease introductions and enhance habitat quality across the state. A healthy deer herd is a key component of sustaining our hunting heritage. Maintaining high quality deer habitat will help sustain a healthy deer herd and also provide exceptional habitat for a host of other species.

Aims for higher citizen satisfaction: As part of a commitment to increasing stakeholder support, the Plan calls for more frequent and regular deer hunter and public attitude surveys to help gauge satisfaction and identify areas that need improvement.

Seeks long-term sustainability: While the Plan promotes the long-term health of deer populations and habitat; more opportunities for stakeholder input and involvement; and efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters, it also recognizes that deer can have negative impacts. The Plan identifies strategies to minimize deer damage to native plants, agricultural crops, forest regeneration or negative community impacts, such as deer/vehicle collisions and urban deer conflicts.

Watch the MN DNR Deer Plan video here

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