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Summary of Deer Population Audit

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The results from the MN DNR Deer Management Population audit are in. Read it and weep, or read it and scratch your head.

Summary: http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/ped/pedrep/deermanagementsum.pdf

Full 157-page Report: http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/ped/pedrep/deermanagement.pdf

 

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I like how in the summary it says they need to acquire more land for deer yet there is a nice little couple hundred acre lot up by our cabin where they had a great spot with lots of deer, phesant and a nice pond for duck and the DNR is renting it out to a farmer during the summers for grazing!  Went back last year and couldn't find so much as a squirrle...

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Did I miss the whole Wolf death deal somewhere? :/

Mortality

Number or percentage of deer deaths compared with total deer and typically defined as either (1) hunting-related, including reported and crippling loss; or (2) all other causes, including natural, illegal kills, and highway kills.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, certified jumbo said:

Summary says the DNR is doing a "sound" job.  Small improvements need to be made.

So, the Fox says the chicken are looking good? Don't they always. ;)

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12 hours ago, certified jumbo said:

Summary says the DNR is doing a "sound" job.  Small improvements need to be made.

A couple quotes from the summary and comments from me: 

"DNR’s current model is sound and aspects of DNR’s methods to estimate deer populations are commendable and align with best deer management practices; however, we identified weaknesses in DNR’s statistical methods, data resources, records management, and validation of its deer estimates. "

The quote from the summary says the current model is sound. They did not start using this model until 2015. For the 2015 goal setting the DNR gave advisory team members numbers from the old model and the new model and did not tell them they were looking at two different sets of numbers. For many permit areas they had 4-5 different counts for DPSM for multiple years in the last 10-12 years. 

"In recent years, DNR has used more conservative deer permit area designations intended to limit how many deer hunters may kill, and to increase deer numbers in many areas. As of 2015, DNR estimates of deer populations and deer goals varied significantly around the state. "

After the winter of 2012-2013 the DNR said winter kill was not an issue, but people who actually lived in the forested parts of the state knew better and made some noise, which got the DNR to go more conservative for the 2013 hunting season. Which was good because most of the state got hammered in 2013-2014. Again, they are saying "As of 2015..." when they are using this completely new model new goals that had just been set..

It also mentions the deer goals... the goal setting had previously been scheduled for 2016-2018. A bunch of noise made by Brooks Johnson and friends got the goal setting moved up a couple years. What would the auditor have said if we were still using 10-12 year old goals in 75% of the state?  There was supposed to be additional goal setting in the winter of 2016, which was pushed back due to this audit.

"Staff from several DNR divisions are either directly or indirectly engaged in deer management; however, DNR does not have a formal deer management plan that defines DNR’s responsibilities and prioritizes resources, goals, and objectives for managing deer. "

And the biggest thing of all there is no overall plan guiding the decisions these guys are making. Most other big "whitetail states" in the country have a deer management plan. 

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