Bad News For Minnesota Deer Hunters - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Bad News For Minnesota Deer Hunters

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   The DNR has some bad news for Minnesota’s half a million deer hunters. New restrictive hunting regulations could cut the State’s deer harvest in half.

  The DNR says Minnesota’s deer population was racked by two brutal winters in a row, especially in the northeastern part of the State. So, restrictions are being put on hunting licenses.

  In past years, hunters could take as many as five deer in some areas.

Ross Hier, DNR: “We’re looking at hunter’s choice, which is 2 deer only, either gender. So, if you take 1 with a bow you’re done for the year. If you take 1 with a gun, you’re done for the year. But, you don’t have to apply for a lottery.”

 The DNR says this fall’s deer harvest could drop to 120-thousand statewide, that’s less than half the deer taken a few years ago. Fewer deer being harvested could also mean a big hit to Minnesota’s half-a-billion dollar a year deer hunting economy.

  However, over at B & E Meats, the owner says this year’s loss in processing deer will likely be made up in the future.   

Brent Epema, B & E Meats: “It’s going to help the deer population in the future. So, it may go down, it may go up. But, it will average out.”

Reporter: “A little less this fall and more next year?”

Epema: “More next year. More fawns, more does… I saw triplets out there, when I’ve been out driving around, so…”

  Ironically, even Ross Hier of the DNR says he believes the deer population in northwestern Minnesota is actually up. He says top officials decided to take the hunting restrictions statewide, because of the large loss of deer in the northeast. 

Ross Hier: “I think it will be improved here. But, it’s a balancing act.”

   In a few areas of Minnesota, hunters will need to register in a lottery for a chance to get a license.

  Here's a link to more information from the DNR:   http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/index.html

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