The Minnesota Department of Natural of Resources will offer a series of local workshops beginning in January and continuing through 2023 across the state to engage the public’s help in developing its next set of deer population goals.

The population goals established over this four-year process will help drive the DNR’s deer management efforts over the next decade. The first workshops will be held in western and northwestern Minnesota and replace the citizen advisory committees and public meetings that were used during the last round of deer goal setting in 2017.

“Using workshops to gather input opens the doors to include more participants and more viewpoints than the advisory committees used previously, and we’re really looking forward to hearing the conversations and recommendations,” said Barbara Keller, DNR big game program.

The only workshop scheduled for the Northland so far this year are set for Jan. 29 and Feb. 27 at Rainy River Community College, 1501 U.S. Highway 71 in International Falls. More workshops will be held in coming years.

The DNR sets deer population goals – how much of an increase or decrease is desired for deer numbers in a particular deer permit area – as part of managing Minnesota’s wild deer herd. During the first workshop participants will work in small groups to identify key issues of interest and priorities to guide management of the deer population. In the second workshop, participants will discuss solutions to the issues and create recommendations for the deer populations in those blocks.

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Anyone may attend the workshops, regardless of affiliation or knowledge of the process. Background information will be provided. Attendees are highly encouraged to RSVP on the DNR goal-setting webpage. You can go to dnr.state.mn.us and search “deer population goals.”