Created: 02/12/2014 11:08 PM WDIO.com
By: Zach Hammer
In as soon as two weeks, the Minnesota DNR will begin emergency deer feeding across Northern Minnesota.
"They're belly deep in the snow. They're using a lot of energy to try to find food, and we've had some brutal cold temperatures also for an extended period of time," said Gary Thompson, director of region 11 for the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.
Last year's hunt was down compared to 2012. Hunters killed about 6 percent fewer deer during last season.
And to help keep the herd strong for the next year, the Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association had been lobbying the DNR to release funding to help feed deer.
DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr did so on Wednesday.
Emergency feeding will occur in a region from near Cloquet to International Falls, to Ely, over to Lake Vermillion, and down to Cloquet.
That move has the state's nearly 500,000 deer hunters excited.
"It will help the deer that are out there that can get to the feed get more nutrition to help get through the winter," according to Brad Trevena, region 3 director for the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.
Trevana says the effort is expected to cost about $170,000. The money will come from surcharges paid over the past 15 years on hunting licenses
"It's going to be two to three years before the numbers are back up to what they were three or four years ago," Trevana said. "But we have to start somewhere and the DNR releasing these funds is a big help."
The last time funding was released for deer feeding was in the mid 1990s.
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