MN DNR holds deer damage workshop - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

MN DNR holds deer damage workshop

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Crop damage from deer can be a big concern for farmers in the southeastern region of Minnesota. To help farmers and landowners resolve the problem, the Minnesota DNR hired a specialist and are hoping Thursday's workshop would help put an end to deer damage once and for all.

In some areas across the Bluff Country, the deer herd is said to have gotten out of control."Hunting is the only tool for the DNR to manage deer at the landscape level," said Don Nelson of the DNR.

Thursday evening at the Tandeski Center hunters and farmers gathered for an informational presentation on ways to prevent deer from taking over their harvest.

"I'm just here to see what's going on with the landowners and what they've got to say," says James Panek of the Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association. "(I'm) not really sure what's going to come of it."

In a KTTC report in October of 2011 we spoke to Bob Marg, a farmer near Elba who had damage to the outer edges of his corn crop because of deer. Marg attended the workshop to continue his push for a bill he's hoping to get approval from the legislature.

"It would give farmers free licenses up to the kill limit, for in your area for any land that you own," said Marg. And if the deer population gets too high, which Marg believes is twenty deer per square mile, "the DNR would be responsible to pay damages up to 50-percent, if the deer get above 30 deer per square mile the DNR would be responsible to pay 90-percent of the damages."

Because Marg is not the only farmer with concerns, the DNR has hired a specialist in Clint Luedtke. "They needed somebody to come in and handle some of these issues, working with the various landowners on the various depredation issues that they have," said Luedtke.  Originally from Omaha, Luedtke has spent 25 years growing up and working on different farms.  "I think I got the ability to relate to farmers as well as the city people that might experience the same type of damage," said Luedtke.

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