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Second-annual deer hunt to take place in Newport

A recent aerial count of the deer population in Newport resulted in the determination that there are too many within city limits.

In an attempt to keep the number under control, the city has authorized a bow hunt for the second year in a row.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the desired maximum number of deer per square mile is 20. The city of Newport is approximately 1.66 square miles. Using a multiplier of 30 percent to estimate the actual deer population, the DNR concluded that the number of deer in Newport to be 52.

“Technically we should only have 10 deer,” City Administrator Deb Hill said. “So we have 42 deer too many.”

The aerial survey, council member Tom Ingemann said, found deer in packs, which could be attributed to the animals searching for food, and the existence of what he called “deer highways.”

“You could clearly see where they were going and coming from,” he said.

The fall hunt last year brought out several hunters, but poor weather hindered the event. And hunters also reported an unbalanced herd with too many bucks.

The council approved the hunt again this fall, and added language that approves the event each year indefinitely or until the population has reached an acceptable number.