Not everyone is on the same page when it comes to regulating deer.
For that reason, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources created a new position to better manage deer and deer hunter-landowner relations in southeastern Minnesota.
The DNR hired Clint Luedtke, a former wildlife biologist from Arizona, to work with farmers, recreational land owners and others to reduce deer-related crop damage and increase effective deer management strategies.
“Southeast Minnesota is a puzzle we want to solve,” said Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife chief. “So, we have re-prioritized our staffing pattern to create a first-ever position that aims to do just that.”
Simon said a number of social and landscape issues — private farms, public forests, absentee landownership, crop depredation, a growing interest in big-buck hunting and citizen differences on deer population goals — has created a growing conundrum.
“We don’t have one universal problem in southeast Minnesota,” Simon said. “Instead, there are a lot of isolated problems.”
The problems occur when farmers are raising crops and nearby recreational landowners are trying to raise herds of larger bucks by limiting the deer harvest. Together, this causes increasing crop depredation claims, hard feelings and unfavorable hunter-landowner relations.