LET Buck harvest in refuge is bad idea
I'm sure most of your deer hunting readers are not aware that the Department of Natural Resources with "support" of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and the Blufflands Whitetail organization are going to offer a youth, ages 13-17, hunt in Winona County's Whitewater Wildlife Management Area Refuge. There will be 50 youth licenses available by lottery.
I support getting youth in the woods hunting. What I don't support is a hunt that will allow these youths -- with a family member -- to harvest a buck in this refuge. I'm OK with harvesting does. I thought the reason for a refuge was to protect wildlife, especially big bucks in the Wildlife Management Area.
This hunt will reduce significantly the number of big bucks in the refuge. I think it is bad policy by the DNR that it didn't solicit input in public meetings on this subject. It did take input by mail. I recommended alternatives, such as allowing 250 youths and all of the Wildlife Management Area but not the refuge. But it appears it didn't make a difference.
It appears once the DNR decides to do something, public input is a waste of time. It is a sad day for our big bucks in the refuge.