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Minnesota Deer Density Initiative (MDDI)

Donate to the MDDI effort to help keep the initiative moving forward to improve deer hunting in Minnesota. MDDI funds are managed separately from MBI's general fund to ensure your donation is used only for MDDI efforts.

For MDDI newsletter subscriptions, submit $4 for each address you want added, and enter the mailing addresses into the notes field.  You can also email the addresses to mbipresident@gmail.com.  All funds raised are used to promote the hunter managed herds concept for better deer hunting in Minnesota.



MBI Participates in Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge's Wildlife Festival

MBI Board Member Doug Bermel

MBI Board Member Doug Bermel

MBI Board members Doug Bermel and Dale Hagen attended the Wildlife Festival on Saturday, October 3rd.  It was also the 50th birthday celebration of the refuge.  This is the second year that MBI has had a presence at the Wildlife Festival.    We helped many kids shoot a bow and most were first time shooters.  Some kids didn't want to shoot but when they saw their brother or sister shoot they had to give it a try.  We even had some parents shoot just to see what it was like.  This was a great opportunity and MBI believes events like these will result in some future bowhunters. 

Doug commented after the event that "It makes me proud to have an impact in a child's life." 


The Sherburne refuge management also expressed their thanks for MBI's support:

United States Department of the Interior
Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
17076 293rd Avenue
Zimmerman, MN 55398October 7, 2015Thank you for attending our annual Wildlife Festival and 50th birthday celebration this year! It was an interesting year with the Oak Savanna Learning Center opening being a possibility, having a different set-up, and the looming shut-down. Even with all those complications we had a turnout of over 1000 guests, hosted 35 different booths or activities, utilized 115 volunteers, and the Eagle’s Nest Store had a record year! This event has been successful for so many years and it is all due to our popular vendors like you!As perfect as our 50th was, there are always areas to improve or change to better the event and celebrate the refuge system. We would like all of you involved to let us know went well at the event, and areas we can improve upon to make this even better in the future. Please give myself or Michelle a call at the refuge or send us an email with 2 things that went well and 2 things we can improve for next year’s event. Please take the time to consider these thoughts while the event is still fresh in your mind.I just want to say thank you again for your willingness to help with this event! We have heard great things back from guests, volunteers, staff, former staff, and special guests so be proud of your hard work!Sincerely,Adam Muilenburg
Visitor Center Seasonal



Bowhunting News


Overall Camp Ripley hunt harvest up 41 percent

(DNR 11-09-2915 news release)ScheiberBuck__2015_2BomanBuck_Ripley_2015_2

L-R: Terry Scheiber of Annandale and Evan Boman of Howard Lake each harvested bucks over 200 pounds at the second Camp Ripley archery hunt, held Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

In a sign that deer populations are rebounding, archers this year harvested 41 percent more deer in two hunts at Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls.

“A more successful hunt at Camp Ripley is good news for Minnesota deer hunters because it’s another sign that deer populations are on the upswing,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager. “Deer numbers in most of the state are on the rise after a milder winter and fewer does and fawns harvested statewide last year.”

The first two-day Camp Ripley hunt took place on Oct. 15-16; the second on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Total harvest in both hunts combined was 204 deer, a 41 percent increase from last year. In addition, the buck harvest was 37 percent of the total harvest in the first hunt and 67 percent in the second hunt.



DNR offers interactive deer map preview & seeks feedback

DeerMap_DesktopHunters now can preview an interactive deer information tool being developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at www.mndnr.gov/deermap.

“This is our first step toward launching an online application that delivers useful information hunters need and want,” said Steve Merchant, the DNR’s wildlife populations and programs manager. “With the firearm deer season opening Saturday, it’s an ideal time for hunters to take a look at the application, discuss it at camp and provide the DNR with some useful feedback.”

The application works on mobile devices and in desktop web browsers. Instructions on how to use each version of the application are online. A link for user feedback also is provided.

Information viewable by clicking the “detail report” link includes harvest history, permit area designation and winter severity history. It also tells a hunter what type of land is in the permit area and how much public land is available.

“During the deer population goal-setting process, hunters made it clear they wanted more easily accessible and comprehensive information,” Merchant said. “This is a first step in developing an interactive tool to meet those needs, and we encourage people to leave useful feedback DNR can use to refine and improve the application.”

Minnesota’s 2015 elk hunts successful

The 2015 elk hunts in northwestern Minnesota wrapped up on Sept. 20 with another successful season in the Kittson County area. Five of seven hunters harvested nice-sized bulls.

Two zones were open to hunting, and all permits were bull only. In the Caribou-Vita herd (Zone 30), which migrates between northern Kittson County and Manitoba, two permits were issued and both hunters successfully harvested antlered bulls on public land. A 7x8 bull was taken on land owned by The Nature Conservancy and a 6x7 bull was taken with a bow on the Caribou Wildlife Management Area.

In the Kittson-Central herd (Zone 20), located near Lancaster, three of five permits were filled. Hunters harvested three 5x5 bulls, all on private land. One of them was taken with a landowner permit.



Elk management in Minnesota

The DNR is currently updating its elk management plan for 2016-2020, which will include a public input process before it is finalized. The plan will address population goals, landowner concerns about crop damage and opportunities to hunt and view elk. Three public input meetings will be scheduled later this year in the Grygla, Lancaster and Twin Cities areas.

As part of the planning process, the DNR convened two elk consensus work groups, one for the two Kittson County herds and one for the Grygla elk herd. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr appointed the work group members, who represented a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

The DNR’s goal is to maintain a free-ranging, wild elk population in northwestern Minnesota. The department envisions a healthy population that offers recreational and economic opportunities while actively addressing conflicts between elk and people. Habitat and herd structure would be maintained, while hunting seasons would be used to help manage problem animals and herd size.

Information on Minnesota’s elk and the current management plan is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/elk/.

DNR schedules regional meetings to explore improving spring wild turkey season

How to increase hunter opportunity and satisfaction during the spring wild turkey season will be the focus of four public discussion meetings the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host in late September and October.

“These are regional discussion meetings where we’re asking citizen participants to help review, evaluate and make recommendations on how DNR can improve the spring turkey season,” said Steve Merchant, DNR wildlife populations program manager.

Spring turkey hunting in Minnesota has grown from 400 hunters harvesting 94 turkeys in 1978 to 47,000 hunters harvesting 11,734 birds in 2015. The record harvest occurred in 2010 when 46,500 hunters took nearly 13,500 turkeys.

Despite unlimited license availability, expanded youth and archery opportunities and an increasing turkey range, the number of people who turkey hunt appears to be plateauing.



Why do you hunt...might it all be about ANTICIPATION?

2015-07-13_MBI Anticipation videoThe answer for James Jacobs is presented in his short award winning video. I think for many of us he has clearly identified a major factor, or maybe THE factor...anticipation. The video features excellent videography, scenery and an eloquent description of anticipation. Well worth five minutes of your time.

View James Jacobs Video
James Jacobs website
James Jacobs Facebook page


DNR approves new deer population goals

New deer population goals have been approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for large portions of 2015deergoalmap_snortheastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota, covering 40 of 128 deer permit areas in the state.

“These new goals will result in management to increase deer numbers in relation to last year’s levels in most of the 40 permit areas,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations manager. “The new goals largely reflect the desires shared by stakeholders who participated in the deer goal setting process and generally reflect the public feedback we’ve heard during the past few years.”



Want a great Fred Bear print AND donate to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital?

Fred Bear Print

Fred Bear Print

Barry and Gene Wensel are very proud to offer an outstanding Limited Edition custom print of Fred Bear by world renowned artist/bowhunter Andrew Warrington. Andrew has created only 190 of these works of art. An excellent montage drawing of Fred Bear is strikingly portrayed centrally with a collection of six of his big game bowhunting trophies. Elephant; tiger; brown bear; Cape buffalo; whitetail and Stone sheep are all realistically captured along with Fred. The impressive illustration will be extremely popular with Fred Bear fans, as well as a historic documentation of bowhunting's early history.

Each 11 5/8" wide by 16 4/8" high print will be personally signed and numbered by the artist adding to the collector's value. They will be sold first-come/first-served for $100 each, plus $10 S&H. The best part is Andrew has generously and proudly offered to donate 70% of all proceeds to the St. Jude's Research Hospital for Children via the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation in a collaborative program to benefit sick children who can't afford quality medical care.

Because Andrew is from England, he has asked Barry and Gene to exclusively market this print here in the U.S.  For more information or to order go to Gene & Barry's Brothers of the Bow website.


Penn State deer studywhitetail-buck-doe2

Are some of our long-held hunting beliefs simply wrong?

Some interesting reading on a Penn State website about deer movements and behavior.  The study appears be shooting holes in some long-held hunting beliefs.  The study is of deer in Pennsylvania big woods so I suspect there are some differences from bowhunting smaller wood lots.  They do mention that archery season didn't have much impact on deer movement compared to rifle season.  That makes sense but I suspect that repeatedly bowhunting smaller woods with archery might be similar to gun impacts.

Some interesting findings:

  • Peak rut has nothing to do with moon phases
  • Bucks don't go nocturnal from hunting pressure BUT they do change their movements.
  • Peak buck movements in early November were from 2 to 5AM and from 11AM to 2PM.  Finally a study that supports my desire to sleep in!
  • One doe studied appears to know more about her hunters than they do about her.

Link to Penn State deer study website


"Who We Are" - an awesome video by Donnie Vincent.

This seven minute video presents Donnie's views about why we are hunters and includes some unbelievable videography.  (Link to Video)

donnievincent2Some of his productions have been shown on the Outdoor Channel.  Unlike most of the bowhunting shows today his aren't rolling advertisements for the latest gadgets, gimmicks and equipment.  Instead you will see some amazing country and experience the rigors of some tough hunting through the wonders of a camera lens.  Here is a short YouTube video about Donnie done by Midco Sports Magazine - Taking Aim: Donnie Vincent

"The River’s Divide" is an award-winning documentary that features his bowhunting journey in the badlands of North Dakota;  it is available for purchase on his website:  donnievincent.com

More film trailers by Donnie Vincent:  The River's Divide    Adventure    Kodiak    Terra Nova


Ever Wonder How to Respond to an Anti-hunter?

Check out this very professional and honest answer to an email Darrell B. from Kansas received.   Don't tuck your tail and retreat, be positive with a response like Darrell's.  (Response used with permission)


MBI President Brooks Johnson's 2014 "Maybe Next Year" bear hunting video

Link to YouTube Video


Wisconsin 3-year Deer Mortality Study Results

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel Outdoors Editor Paul A. Smith summarizes the results of the 3-year study.  The study ranks the leading causes of WI deer mortality attributable to coyotes, human hunters, starvation, vehicle collisions and wolves.  And, no, the preceding isn't in the correct order.

MN_Archery_Hall_FameMN Archery Hall of Fame

Rochester Archery Club

Chilakoot Archery Club

Chilakoot Archery Club



flex-fetch products

Northwoods Mapping

If you are looking for the highest quality LiDar topos and aerial images of your hunting grounds
check out our laminated prints.  Mention MBI for a 10% discount!