ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Wildlife managers plan to boost the whitetail deer population in several parts of southeastern Minnesota while holding deer numbers steady or bringing them down in certain other zones in the region.
The Department of Natural Resources said the decision reflects input from the public and a stakeholder advisory team. Similar processes elsewhere are expected to affect deer hunting regulations over much of the state during the next several years.
“By managing for these new goals, the majority of permit areas should experience population increases,” Leslie McInenly, the DNR’s big game program leader, said in a statement Thursday.
With the exception of two far southeastern permit areas where populations are high, 346 and 349, achieving population goals in many permit areas will require conservative harvest strategies this fall that likely will include a one-deer bag limit, according to the DNR.
Deer densities in permit area 343, which includes Rochester, and permit area 344, which includes the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area, will be kept roughly the same. A special chronic wasting disease management zone in the Pine Island area will be eliminated and merged with permit areas 341 and 343, allowing deer numbers there to recover after deliberate efforts to reduce them.
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