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Youth harvest deer in state park during special hunt

Lead Summary
Lori Sorenson

Nine youth hunters and their mentors participated in the Minnesota DNR’s special youth hunt Nov. 19 and 20 in the Blue Mounds State Park. 
According to park manager Chris Ingebretsen, 10 deer — nine does and two bucks — were harvested that weekend.
“The cold weather had deer moving through the park fairly well,” he said.
The Blue Mounds State Park has hosted “earn a buck” hunts for the last several years, meaning each hunter can harvest a doe and a buck, or two does.
Renae DeKam, hunting with her mentor, Mike Raddle of Luverne, harvested two does. 
The Blue Mounds State Park was closed to all visitors on Nov. 19 and 20 for the special hunt to prevent overpopulation of deer and to protect natural resources.
“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Travis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for Minnesota State Parks and Trails.
“When there are too many deer in a park, they feed too much on certain trees and native plants, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a way to protect natural resources and bring the deer population back into better balance.”
Other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas also hosted hunts this fall after youth and adults applied for the permits earlier this year to participate in the hunts.

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