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DNR extends deer population public input period

The public comment period for revised deer population goals in southwestern and a portion of northern Minnesota has been extended to Thursday, May 10, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

"A number of people have already provided us input using the online survey since April 16," said Steve Merchant, DNR Wildlife Population Program manager. "Extending the date from May 1 to May 10 assures we have provided adequate time for public comment."

The survey is available online at

Earlier this year, DNR worked with three stakeholder teams to help re-determine deer population goals in 12 permit areas in the southwest and 10 permit areas in north-central Minnesota.

The teams represented such interests as deer hunters, landowners, businesses, counties and conservation/environmental groups, and met to recommend if deer populations should be increased, decreased or stabilized for each of the selected permit areas.

The online survey allows the public to react to team recommendations and inform the DNR on their point of view regarding deer populations.

This information, along with the stakeholder team recommendations, will be used to set the 2012 deer season. Deer population goals for the remainder of the state will be revaluated in the next year or two.

Once public input is complete and results are analyzed, a decision on deer populations will be made for each permit area and the 2012 deer season harvest strategies will be adjusted accordingly.

Written comments may be mailed to: Steve Merchant, DNR, Box 20, 500 Lafayette Road, Saint Paul, MN 55155.