The DNR is hosting workshops to gather input on deer management and receive feedback on future deer population trends in the West Central Prairie goal block and Central Hills Prairie goal block. This includes the first of two workshops locally in Alexandria tonight, Wednesday, from 6-9 p.m.

First workshop

The first Central Hills Prairie goal block workshop (DPAs 213, 214, 215, 218, 239, 240, 273, 276 and 277) will be held January 22, 6 to 9 p.m., in Alexandria at the Alexandria Technical and Community College auditorium and classroom, 410 18th Ave.

At these workshops, participants will work in small groups to identify key issues of interest and priorities to guide management of the deer population.

Second workshop

The second Central Hills Prairie goal block workshop will be held on February 25 – same location and time as the first workshop.

Participants will discuss solutions to the issues brought forward in the first workshop and create recommendations for the deer populations in those blocks.

Anyone may attend these workshops, regardless of affiliation or knowledge of the process. Background information will be provided. Attendees are highly encouraged to RSVP on the DNR goal-setting webpage.

The workshops replace the citizen advisory committees and public meetings that were used during the last round of deer goal setting in 2017.

The DNR sets deer population goals – how much of an increase or decrease is desired in a deer population in a particular deer permit area – as part of managing the state’s wild deer herd. Deer population goals will be updated on a staggered basis in 14 regional goal-setting blocks that are made of multiple deer permit areas. The population goals established in this process will provide direction for management over 10 years, with a midpoint review every five years.

The goal-setting process will take four years to complete statewide, with several geographic blocks addressed each year. This year focuses on blocks in the northwestern and western parts of the state. Complete details, including the dates and locations of the workshops are listed on the goal-setting webpage.