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Heavy snow causing deer concerns

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Heavy snow causing deer concerns
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

The heavy snow that has fallen in parts of Minnesota already is causing concerns about the potential for deer mortality.

Mark Johnson executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association in Grand Rapids, Minn., said the early onset of winter comes on the heels of two of the lowest deer harvests in several years.

"Last winter was a long winter that hurt the deer," Johnson said. "It wasn't a severe winter, just long, and that made it severe. This year, it's already looking like it's going to be a long winter. It started early."

The Department of Natural Resources in its weekly snow depth map Thursday indicated all of northwest Minnesota has 8 to 18 inches of snow, with pockets near Bemidji as deep as 2 feet. Portions of the Arrowhead in northeast Minnesota already have as much as 3 feet of snow, the DNR reported.

"If we get more snow, there's a real fear that's going to drive the deer population even lower," Johnson said. That could have serious implications on deer management, he added.

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is editor of the Herald's Northland Outdoors section and also works as a copy editor and page designer. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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