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New deer permit areas set in the northeast

Changes should allow better coordination of moose and deer management

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 6/21/17

REGIONAL— Deer hunters will find several new or modified permit areas in northeastern Minnesota this fall as the Department of Natural Resources attempts to better align its management of deer and …

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New deer permit areas set in the northeast

Changes should allow better coordination of moose and deer management

Posted

REGIONAL— Deer hunters will find several new or modified permit areas in northeastern Minnesota this fall as the Department of Natural Resources attempts to better align its management of deer and moose in the region.

The change in permit area boundaries will affect existing PAs 176, 122, 127, and 180. The portion of PA 176 located east of Hwy. 135 and the northeastern two-thirds of PA 122 and a portion of PA 180, will become part of new PA 130. A large portion of PA 180 and all of PA 127 will become part of a new PA 131. Permit areas 118, 117, and 126, were already fully within the primary moose range and will not be affected by the change.

Within primary moose range, the DNR will manage for lower but stable deer densities as recommended by the 2014 deer population public advisory committee and the 2011 moose management plan. Outside of primary moose range, deer will be managed for higher densities.

In the past, however, those conflicting management goals proved problematic for DNR wildlife officials, since deer permit areas haven’t always aligned perfectly with the boundaries of the primary moose range. But the newly-devised deer permit areas are either all in or all outside of the primary moose range.

“This won’t take away the controversy over moose and deer management, but it should make the management easier,” said Tower Area DNR Wildlife Manager Tom Rusch.

Ongoing research has demonstrated the need for the DNR to manage for lower deer density within the primary moose range, due to the frequent transmission of diseases and parasites from deer to moose. Deer are the primary host for a type of fatal brain worm and for liver flukes, both of which can kill or severely debilitate moose. Managing deer at lower but stable numbers in primary moose range will reduce disease transmission and allow for habitat and other management activities to benefit moose.

The change in permit areas, and the differing management strategies within and outside of moose range, should mean hunters in some areas will have more opportunities to shoot antlerless deer this fall, particularly in permit areas within moose range. Actually, most permit areas, even those outside moose range, are likely to offer deer hunters more options, according to Rusch. “There will be more opportunity to shoot antlerless deer this fall, statewide, including in the northeast,” he said. That’s because three straight mild winters have left the deer population in recovery mode following extreme winters in 2013 and 2014.

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Dan Nistler

Where have you seen the ongoing research that demonstrates the need for lower deer numbers to help moose? I follow the issue fairly closely and I've seen speculation and political motives but not any actual research that lower deer numbers will have any impact on moose populations. The only research I've seen was regarding moose calf losses and it was almost 100% due to wolf and bear predation.

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Immer Treue

Dan

Wolves don't spread brain worm or liver flukes, that is the province of deer. Every cow lost to those two parasites is another lost potential breeder. The data you are probably using was research conducted during 2012,13 prior to the back to back bad winters that also knocked back the deer numbers. If you are citing the Mech articles, sure he said in areas of moose economy, wolves were putting a lot of pressure on the moose, but he also said that deer had supported the wolf population, and that the wolf numbers were declining (11/14).

DNR is frantically trying to eradicate CWD in SE MN. Better hope that doesn't get up here.

The bottom line is that wolves, bears and moose have been up here for thousands of years and ecological fluctuations undoubtedly occurred. The relatively new player is deer. Sure they're pretty and they taste good, but they have done the moose no favors.

Monday, June 26, 2017