As the temperatures start to drop and snow piles up, the Minnesota DNR is asking residents not to feed deer, on purpose or by leaving bird feed within their reach.
In certain areas — near Brainerd and in southeastern Minnesota — feeding is banned due to the discovery of chronic wasting disease. Preventing congregation of deer helps keep the disease from spreading. Some cities, including Duluth, also ban deer feeding.
While most people have good intentions when they feed deer, the DNR recommends against it because of the risks it possesses for the wild deer herd, including negative health effects from deer eating food that can disrupt their stomachs or an increase in problems related to habituation, like deer-vehicle collisions or property damage. Learn more about the unintended effects of feeding deer at dnr.state.mn.us.