DNR to fly deer and elk surveys

Pending suitable snow cover, the Department of Natural Resources plans to fly white-tailed deer population surveys from December through March in central and southeastern Minnesota.

“In the transition zone between agricultural and forested lands, which generally stretches from the northwest to southeast across Minnesota, we use aerial surveys to recalibrate the deer population model,” said Gino DíAngelo, DNR farmland deer project leader in a statement. “These survey flights help us make decisions on deer permit area designations that achieve our population goals.”

DNR pilots will fly low-level helicopter surveys in 18 deer permit areas during daylight hours at an altitude of approximately 200 feet.

Areas targeted to be flown include:

- Deer permit areas 214, 215, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 229, 239 and 241 in Becker, Benton, Clay, Hubbard, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Wilkin and Wright counties.
- Deer permit areas 341-343 and 345-349 in Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties.

Aerial elk surveys using both an airplane and helicopter are also planned for the Kittson County and Grygla elk ranges in northwestern Minnesota. The flights are conducted annually during winter.

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

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