DNR selects members for statewide deer advisory committee

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has selected a 20-member advisory committee to provide the agency with feedback and advice on deer management as it develops a statewide deer plan. 

“These committee members represent a broad range of interests,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader. “We’ll use recommendations from the committee and broader public input as we set strategic direction and guiding principles for deer management.”

Over the next year, the Deer Management Plan Advisory Committee will review technical information and also public input that will be collected this winter through regional public meetings, online and through written comments. The committee will make recommendations to the DNR for the plan that will be in effect for 10 years.

“We value this open and public process to develop the plan,” Murkowski said. “Committee recommendations and input from the public will be vitally important.”

Committee members represent archery, firearm and muzzleloader hunters as well as nonhunters; landowners; farmers; livestock producers; land managers; wildlife photographers; local government officials; community activists; natural resource scientists; public health officials; and members and employees of hunting, conservation and agricultural organizations.

Thirteen seats are being filled by invited representatives of organizations.

  • 1854 Treaty Authority, Andy Edwards.
  • Bluffland Whitetails Association, Michael Sieve.
  • Minnesota Association of County Land Commissioners, Nathan Eide.
  • Minnesota Conservation Federation, Gary Botzek.
  • Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Craig Engwall and Denis Quarberg (two seats).
  • Minnesota Department of Health, Jenna Bjork.
  • Minnesota Farm Bureau, Kevin Paap.
  • Minnesota Farmers Union, Rod Sommerfield.
  • Minnesota Forest Resources Partnership, Dennis Thompson.
  • Quality Deer Management Association, Pat Morstad.
  • The Nature Conservancy, Meredith Cornett.
  • Women Hunting and Fishing in all Seasons, Diane Smith.

Additionally, seven “at-large” committee members were selected from an open call for applications this fall. More than 200 people applied to participate on the committee. Applicants were selected based on criteria including their knowledge of deer management, interests related to deer, familiarity with different areas of the state, and their interest and experience working collaboratively with a diverse group of individuals.

  • Ted Brenny, Mazeppa.
  • James Buchwitz, Strathcona.
  • Daniel Butler, Cohasset.
  • Kevin Goedtke, Fulda.
  • Yeng Moua, Brooklyn Park.
  • Bernard Overby, Kenyon.
  • Rebecca Strand, Shafer.

The plan is expected to be finished by the spring of 2018. More information about the planning process and the committee is available on the DNR website on the deer plan page.

The DNR strives to maintain a healthy wild deer population that offers recreational and economic opportunities, while addressing conflicts between deer, people and other natural resources. Habitat management, hunting, research and monitoring are several primary tools used to manage the Minnesota deer population. More information on deer management can be found on the deer management page.