DNR offers deer hunting clinic Aug. 11 near Mora

Adults and youth who want to learn the basics of deer hunting are invited to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ deer day on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., on the Wilkens farm near Mora in Kanabec County.

The free program, which is geared for adults who want to learn more about deer hunting, will be hosted by the DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors Family program. Youth, ages 10 and older, are welcome to attend if they are accompanied by a guardian.

Following presentations on deer and deer habit, participants will have hands-on opportunities to learn and practice field skills, including how to track deer; deer stand placement and safety; and shotgun, rifle, archery and muzzleloader shooting. Instructors will include DNR wildlife staff, DNR conservation officers, Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) volunteers and members of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.

“Deer day is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in learning the basics of deer hunting to get hands-on experience,” said Linda Bylander, BOW coordinator.

Register by printing off a registration form on the BOW website at www.mndnr.gov/bow or by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 to request a registration form. Registration is limited. Lunch will be served. More information about BOW programs is available at www.mndnr.gov//bow.

Minnesota’s wolf  population remains strong 

The wolf population remains firmly established on Minnesota’s landscape, according to a comprehensive population survey conducted by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The latest survey results estimate that within Minnesota’s wolf range there were 438 packs and 2,211 wolves last winter – down 710 wolves from the survey five years ago. Minnesota’s wolf range generally covers the state’s forested region.

The DNR intends on putting in place another conservative wolf season in fall and winter 2013.

Although lower than the 2008 wolf population survey estimate of 2,921 wolves, the population exceeds the state’s minimum goal of at least 1,600 wolves and is above the federal recovery goal range of 1,251 to 1,400 animals.

“Results from the 2013 wolf survey continue to demonstrate that Minnesota’s wolf population is fully recovered from its once threatened status and the population is responding naturally to the availability of deer, wolves’ primary food source,” said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist.

One of the primary factors influencing the wolf population estimate was a 13 percent increase in average wolf pack territory size to about 62 square miles. The increase in territory size likely is caused by fewer deer per square mile, which has declined 25 percent since 2008 in the forested region of Minnesota.

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