Helicopters Searching for Whitetail Deer?

Pending suitable snow cover, low-flying helicopters will be conducting whitetail deer population surveys from January through March in northwestern, central and southeastern Minnesota.

“Good wildlife management decisions are based on good science,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “These survey flights collect some of baseline data we need to make those decisions.”

DNR pilots will fly survey areas in 18 deer permit areas during daylight hours at about 200 feet. Results of aerial surveys are used to help estimate deer population in these areas.

Affected areas include permit areas 260 and 264 in Kittson, Marshall, Pennington and Roseau counties; permit areas 239 and 270 in Becker, Clay, Grant, Otter Tail and Wilkin counties; permit areas 214, 215, 221 and 22 in Benton, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Stearns, Todd and Wadena counties; and deer permit areas 341-349 and 602 in Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties.

Aerial elk surveys using both an airplane and helicopter are planned for the Kittson County and Grygla elk ranges in northwestern Minnesota.

Questions about survey flights should be directed to the DNR’s farmland wildlife research office in Madelia at 507-642-8478; the northwest regional wildlife office in Bemidji at 218-308-2651; or the Rochester area wildlife office at 507-206-2859.