MN DNR OKs controversial deer feed amid harsh winter

MinnesotaBrown.com covers Minnesota news and more.For the first time in 17 years, the Minnesota DNR is making widespread plans to feed starving deer as this harsh winter enters its long conclusion. John Myers has a story in today’s Duluth News Tribune.

The issue is controversial. DNR wildlife managers don’t believe it’s wise or necessary to feed wild deer, as the population tends to recover on its own from hard winters. But Minnesota deer hunters are concerned that starvation would affect next year’s hunt. Thus, DNR administrators¬† are reluctantly releasing dedicated funds from Minnesota hunting license fees to feed deer in some areas.

I can’t speak for what deer would think about this. I imagine it’s confusing enough just being a deer in this modern mixed up world.

Comments

  1. I moved out of state from northern MN a few years ago for a job, but I did my share of deer hunting up there. While I love deer hunting, I do not agree with wasting tax payer funds to feed wild game-particularly when this practice is discouraged by the DNR for private citizens given the presence of CWD in Minnesota’s deer herd.

    Yes, not feeding means there will be less deer in the fall for the hunt, but that is why it is called hunting, not killing. A lot of Minnesota deer hunters became extremely spoiled by the high deer population in the mid to late 2000’s, and now seem to believe if they go out and sit in a heated elevated deer stand and don’t see 10 shooter bucks a day the deer herd is in horrible shape.

    Money being wasted on feeding deer now is money that could be put, more sensibly, into protecting and enhancing deer habitat to help the population recover. Interfering with natural processes like winter die offs is as abhorrent as the idiotic idea some people have been floating about helicoptering in more wolves to Isle Royale. Like the mainland deer herd, the Isle Royale wolves are the product of natural circumstances, and if they inbreed and manage to eat themselves out of a prey source by diminishing the Isle Royale moose population, then they should be allowed to die out naturally as well. This is no different than the inane federal program to shoot naturally expanding more ecologically successful barred owls in favor of spotted owls.

    Let nature take its course-and let the hunters remember why it is called hunting.

  2. Byron Bird says

    The question is would you rather watch deer starve to death and possibly loosing thousand this harsh winter by doing nothing or helping the deer. It doesn’t bother anyone when the DNR has spent over ten million dollars on CWD research and has accomplished nothing. But complained when 170,000. is spent on feeding. If the public and the DNR does the feeding properly the deer will actually grow and be healthier. I have a friend that feeds corn, alfalfa hay, and the main key to the feedings success is mineral. I have watch him do this and he is taken care of at least 100 deer and they looked great. Most people and the DNR don’t have to the effort actually learn how to do this properly. The deer will balance it’s own diet. With a little corn, alfalfa and what the forage on their own such as brows and pine bows and the grasses that grow next to the pine are doing great.

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