DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

March 8, 2021

Provide feedback on proposed deer population goals starting March 15

Minnesotans can take an active role in shaping deer population goals in areas of southwest and northeast Minnesota by participating in an open public comment period starting Monday, March 15 and closing Friday, March 26. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets deer population goals — how much of an increase or decrease is desired in a deer population in a particular deer permit area — as part of managing the state’s wild deer. Details, including how to participate, are listed on the DNR’s deer goal-setting webpage.

Updated winter severity index maps available

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has posted an updated winter severity index (WSI) map on its website. The DNR calibrates this map based on typical winter conditions for northeastern Minnesota, where winters most often impact deer populations. The webpage also explores how winter influences deer survival and how other factors, such as habitat, food availability and timing of spring green-up, can compound or buffer the impacts of a severe winter. The latest WSI map covers Nov. 1, 2020, to Feb. 24, 2021. At this point, the entire state falls within the mild range for WSI readings.