Brainerd area wildlife
Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in Crow Wing and southern Cass counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Brainerd area wildlife office.
Area Supervisor Christine Reisz and her staff of two full-time assistant wildlife managers oversee an area that includes 365,000 acres of public land, 980,000 acres of private land and 1,163 lakes. This includes 22 State Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 13,500 acres, one state game refuge and one state waterfowl refuge.
The Brainerd area is known for excellent hunting and trapping opportunities for a variety of species, including deer, bear, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, waterfowl, fisher, otter and more.
At work for you
A prescribed burn in the Brainerd wildlife work area.
- Managing 20 shallow lakes and 9 impoundments totaling 5,625 acres for wild rice and waterfowl habitat.
- Providing site-level wildlife habitat input on forest management practices administered by DNR forestry by annually reviewing stand exam lists on 2,400-plus acres and conducting site visits with forestry staff.
- Undertaking forest stand improvement projects (i.e. timber sale, thinning, prescribed fire, regeneration) on WMAs when there is a budget to complete such projects.
- Partnering on Camp Ripley's Army Compatible Use Buffer project, Ducks Unlimited/DNR wild rice project and with non-profit organizations interested in wildlife habitat enhancement and protection including National Wild Turkey Federation, The Nature Conservancy and Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.
- Collecting harvest information, monitoring population levels, conducting wildlife surveys and providing season recommendations for five deer permit areas, two turkey permit areas, one bear permit area, small game, furbearers and waterfowl.
- Providing technical guidance to hundreds of nuisance animal calls each year on a variety of species including bear, deer, turkey and beaver. Conducting site visits and provide emergency materials or shooting permits as necessary to alleviate immediate depredation issues.
Contact our Brainerd staff