Deer Feeding Ending, But Was It a Success?

The worst winter in more than a century, still lingering well into spring, has affected white-tailed deer and wildlife to the point that a hotly-debated supplemental feeding program was attempted to provide the animals some relief.

The question is, will about $200,000 spent on the supplemental food distributed by volunteers help the deer or be a blip on the wildlife canvas?

About 1,000 volunteers helped with the project spearheaded by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association that began March 6. The distributed more than 528 tons of food throughout Minnesota. The effort ends this weekend, although feeding will continue on the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation due to more than 20 inches of snow that still remain there.

The project was funded by money in the Minnesota DNR coffers via a 50-cent license surchage over the last several years. The deer hunters association and other hunters had to arm-twist the agency to release the money for the project but it finally relented. DNR officials did not support the feeding program, citing concerns about possible disease.

Wisconsin deer hunters have cited similar concerns about the state’s deer population struggling this winter. But there have been no efforts to conduct a similar feeding program there.

Read the full story here in the Duluth News Tribune.

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