Sportsmen's Club has fed deer for many years

This article submitted by Stephanie Everson on 1/21/97.

The particularly harsh winter has many Minnesotans concerned about the fate of area deer. DNR officials have said the $260,000 available in their budget for deer feeding for the two-year biennium, as well as $750,000 appropriated from the state Game and Fish Fund was spent feeding deer in northwestern Minnesota last winter. Without a special appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature, there will be no funds available for deer feeding this winter.

However, there is hope in our community. The Sportsmen's Club of Paynesville has been feeding local wildlife for the past 10 years. They use their member dues of $10 per year to buy ear corn from local farmers. Two grain wagons stand outside the Collision Center in Paynesville, and each member is allowed two gunny sacks per week.

Mike Ogdahl, head of the project, has a list of members posted at the Collision Center. When someone comes in, they sign their name. He said the Pheasants Forever and Deer Hunter's organizations are not part of this project. It is mostly funded by Sportsmen's Club member dues. According to Ogdahl, the corn will be available until snow depths go down, or the corn runs out.

Two fawns, a few pheasants, squirrels, cardinals, and an owl feed regularly in Ogdahl's back yard, east of Paynesville. He said many people have been having problems with deer eating evergreens and decorative bushes, so the corn has been a good way of keeping that under control.

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