Crops News

ND farmer pleads guilty to shooting deer eating grain


A North Dakota farmer will not be allowed to hunt for two years after pleading guilty to illegally killing deer in his fields. In addition to losing his hunting privileges, Daryl Klein, 62, of Balta, was fined $2,825 and must forfeit a rifle with scope to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

The case stems after a call to the Report All Poachers in January 2017 about multiple dead deer on a farm near Balta. Upon investigation, the game warden found 20 dead deer. Klein admitted to killing at least seven deer after becoming frustrated with them eating his grain.

A 2001 National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) survey estimated wildlife causes $944 million in damages to U.S. agriculture each year. Field crop losses to wildlife totaled $619 million and losses of vegetables, fruits, and nuts totaled $146 million. White-tailed deer accounted for 58 percent of the total field crop damage and 33 percent of vegetable, fruit, and nut damage.

In addition to the immediate losses, there may be residual damage in the form of future yield reduction for fruit trees or forage crops, and ornamental trees or nursery stock may be permanently disfigured by deer browsing. Although browsing is the most common type of damage, deer may also damage agricultural crops by trampling or antler rubbing.

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