Stand up and be heard on outdoors issues

WORTHINGTON -- I have been following some potential regulation changes that have been floating around for the past month or so in regards to deer hunting.

WORTHINGTON -- I have been following some potential regulation changes that have been floating around for the past month or so in regards to deer hunting.

The suggested changes are a result of the recommendations that came from a citizens' input group that was challenged with the task of simplifying the hundreds of laws designed to manage the deer populations in Minnesota.

I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but one of the issues is gaining steam as of late, so I thought an update was warranted.

This is no easy task, and the one thing I know for sure is that not everyone will be happy regardless of the outcome. I would even go so far as to say that the task is impossible. It is my hope that when the process comes to a conclusion that a simple majority of the area's deer hunters are happy.

There is an old saying that states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This will certainly be the case with this effort.


When you make a change to fix one problem you can unintentionally create a different problem. Hopefully, the second problem is smaller than the one that was fixed.

The result of these recommendations was a series of citizen input meetings that are occurring around the state as this goes to print. In most parts of Minnesota these meeting have been greeted with very little fan fair. Some meetings had 5-10 attendees and others had a few more.

The greatest response has been in the farm land zones in the southwestern part of the state. The response has been so big that they have scheduled more meetings, and there is one at 7 p.m. April 8 in Worthington at the Fine Arts Building at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. I will be there and I am predicting that the turn out will be very large.

I routinely have folks approach me about a variety of issues related to the outdoors, but this issue has lit a roaring fire under more than a few hunters. On almost a daily basis, I get a call or a visitor that is quite excited about these changes and most are not in favor.

The issue that has the most negative momentum is the change from a 6-day firearms season to a 9-day firearms season. The season is now split into a 2-day first season and a 4-day second season in southwest Minnesota. The change would result in a continuous 9-day season.

One concern is that with proposed change there is no separation mid-season, and that has created the perception that increased crowding on opening weekend will be unbearable.

The second concern is that the additional days will result in a substantial increase in harvest and have a negative effect on overall deer populations.

I am not a professional deer manager, so I can not speak with any knowledge on these issues. I will have to wait and hear the presentation to gather information before I can have an opinion on these matters.


I will tell you that I am very excited to see the outdoor community getting involved in this discussion. Hunters are generally not very vocal and this increased level of involvement will be good not only today on these deer hunting issues, but into the future as well when other important issues rise to the surface.

There are five or six other regulations changes being considered. There has been almost no discussion on these issues, and that does surprise me.

I encourage you attend this meeting if deer hunting is important to you. What I also hope for is that those in attendance come with an open mind. From my position, the jury is still out as to whether the changes are good or bad. I will listen to the rational for the proposed changes and study the data used to back them up. It is only then that informed opinions can be drawn and satisfactory outcomes can be attained.

The meeting will be informative and I am sure entertaining. I will summarize the outcome in a future column.

This is your chance to be involved and have a say in the future of deer hunting in your home territory. Decisions are made by the folks who show up. Be one of those folks, or don't complain later if it doesn't go your way. See you at 7 p.m. April at the Minnesota West Worthington campus.

To read Scott Rall's column and other outdoors stories online, visit and click on "Northland Out-doors."

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