Are Minnesota hunting rules doing right by farmers? State legislators, county leaders, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials, and local landowners will meet to discuss possible policy changes on Monday. Representatives Steve Drazkowksi and Gene Pelowski, and Senator Matt Schmit, will be present to discuss existing and potential hunting policies such as Antler Point Restriction (APR), Earn-a-Buck, damage restitution for famers, and deer-cattle disease control.
The doe kills are too small and deer herds are getting bigger, says Bob Marg, a landowner turned hunting policy advocate. Some crop farmers are frustrated by thousands of dollars in crop damage they have seen from local deer herds. Marg argues that the DNR has failed to keep deer herds at a manageable level, to allow farmers to manage deer problems on their land, or compensate farmers for damage.
DNR officials say that deer herds are within their target range and that they give special permits to farmers with deer problems. Many hunters also praise new DNR policies like Antler Point Restriction (APR) as a boon to sportsmen.
The forum will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 16, at the Wilson Town Hall, just north of Highway 43 and Interstate 90.