For years, MDHA has advocated for all hunters to be able to utilize scopes on muzzleloaders and for portable stands to be permitted to remain overnight in large WMAs in northern Minnesota. MDHA’s efforts have now born fruit. In 2017, the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, bills containing these provisions.
It has been a long-standing frustration for MDHA that only a very small portion of deer license dollars are dedicated to accounts that specifically benefit deer. In fact, of the $30 current cost of a Minnesota deer license, only $3.50 goes to accounts dedicated to deer and another $0.50 is allocated to wolf management. These frustrations led the MDHA Morrison County Chapter to put forward a resolution requiring a significant portion of license revenue to be dedicated to deer. The resolution overwhelming passed at the MDHA Corporate Board. At the same time, DNR was seeking to increase the price of a deer license to $34. As a result of these circumstances, MDHA took the position that it would support an increase on the condition that $17.50 (or 51% of the price) of the $34 deer license be dedicated to accounts benefitting deer along with the removal of the $0.50 allocated to wolf management. At the end of the 2017 Legislative Session, DNR accepted MDHA’s position in writing and the Legislature passed the increase as a result.
In 2015, MDHA urged Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor to conduct an audit of DNR’s deer management. MDHA also called on DNR to establish a statewide deer management plan. As a result of the urging of MDHA and others, the Legislative Auditor conducted an audit of DNR’s deer management in 2016. One of the key recommendations in the audit was for DNR to prepare a deer management plan. At the beginning of 2017, DNR embarked on a year-long deer planning effort and appointed two MDHA representatives to the 20-member advisory committee. MDHA is the only organization with two members of the committee.