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Aerial sharpshooting begins March 16
Aerial sharpshooters are set to begin removing deer March 16 in the core area of a bovine tuberculosis outbreak near Skime, Minn., and several wildlife management areas, state forest roads and recreational trails will be closed temporarily to ensure public safety during the operation.
The sharpshooters, contractors working for the Department of Natural Resources, will shoot deer from the air for about two weeks. The aerial campaign supplements the ground shooting effort that began Feb. 16.
An aerial survey in January tallied an estimated 660 deer in the core area, down 18 percent from 2008.
Here’s a look at areas to be closed during the aerial campaign:
WMAs: Golden Valley, Grygla, Hayes, Marbel, Mickinock, Moose River, Skime, Wannaska, Wapiti, portions of Palmville, Red Lake and Thief Lake.
Recreational trails: All trails within Deer Permit Area 101.
State forest roads: Blacks Winner (beginning at Palsburg junction), Morehouse, Neheim, Penturen, North Moose River dike, River Road (beginning at Thomson Road junction), Snow, Stotts, Summer, West Moose River, Winner.
The DNR will reopen closed areas as soon as safety permits. Flights will begin in the northern portion of the TB core area, where forest road closures are involved, so that roads can be reopened as quickly as possible.
The DNR also will issue a limited number of motorized road-use passes to residents and cabin owners affected by the road closures. Permits may be obtained from the DNR at the Warroad or Wannaska, Minn., forestry offices.
Sharpshooting is only being conducted on public lands and on private lands where the landowner has given permission. Anyone interested in obtaining field-dressed deer that show no signs of infection can place their name on a waiting list by contacting Thief Lake WMA office at (218) 222-3747.