Rochester area wildlife

The Rochester wildlife work area

2118 Campus Drive SE
Door A, Suite 100
Rochester, MN 55904
[email protected]

A prescribed burn to aid habitat in the Rochester wildlife work area.

A prescribed burn to aid habitat in the Rochester wildlife work area.

Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in a six-county area in southeastern Minnesota benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Rochester area wildlife staff.

Area Wildlife Supervisor Brandon Schad along with two full-time staff oversee a work area that includes 46 state Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 12,700 acres in Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties. They also administer the Rochester game refuge and coordinate wildlife management on 47,000 acres of state forest land.

"This beautiful part of the state – a mix of prairies, bluff lands, rolling hardwood forests and scenic farms – is heavily used by hunters and other recreationists," Schad said. "Our WMAs and state forests get a lot of use from Twin Cities and Rochester residents because they are easily accessible and known widely for an abundance of deer, wild turkey and many other species."

Our work
License Dollars At Work logo and link to page
  • In 2016, 12 WMA acquisition projects were either initiated or ongoing.
  • Currently managing 12 DNR and three external partners Outdoor Heritage-funded grassland restoration and enhancement projects.
  • Assisting in the collection of thousands of deer samples for chronic wasting disease surveillance.
  • In 2016, responding to more than 40 major nuisance wildlife cases, including geese, deer and turkey crop depredations.
  • In 2016, successfully completing prescribed burns on more than 600 acres of grassland at 30 WMAs and restoring or enhancing an additional 350 acres of grassland at nine WMA sites.
  • Coordinating with and providing technical guidance to the DNR forestry on wildlife habitat issues on over 47,000 acres of state forest land in the Rochester work area.



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