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Hunters encouraged to help protect the wild deer herd

Nov 16, 2020 02:43PM ● By Editor

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - November 16, 2020

Hunters encouraged to help protect the wild deer herd

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges deer hunters to participate in chronic wasting disease testing in designated areas, following lower-than-anticipated harvest numbers and hunter sample submissions during firearms deer season.

The DNR shifted to voluntary sampling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the DNR is using unstaffed sampling stations to facilitate social distancing. Hunters in CWD management zones, control zones or surveillance areas are urged to drop off the head of deer 1 year of age or older at these stations. Hunters can prepare for sample drop-off by watching this video or following the steps outlined online.

Deer carcass movement restrictions in place in CWD management and control zones

Deer carcass movement restrictions are in place in chronic wasting disease management and control zones, which are located in southeastern and north-central Minnesota and the south metro area. Whole deer carcasses cannot leave these zones until a “not detected” test result is received. If hunters do not submit their deer for sampling, or want to transport it outside the zones before getting a test result, they must debone and quarter their deer and properly dispose the head and spinal column inside the zones.

These restrictions are part of a comprehensive strategy to keep Minnesota’s deer, elk and moose healthy by limiting the spread of disease. No carcass movement restrictions are in place in CWD surveillance areas. Detailed information is available on the DNR website (link is external).

Hunters can find CWD test results online

Hunters can check the DNR website for CWD test results on the deer they’ve harvested. The site also shows statewide CWD test results, including locations of deer that tested positive, and statistics. Any additional deer harvested during current and upcoming Minnesota deer seasons that test positive for CWD will be reported on this CWD results webpage. The DNR will directly notify any hunter who harvests a deer that tests positive. The DNR appreciates hunters’ participation in providing voluntary samples to help with disease surveillance.

Reminder: Deer feeding ban changes in effect

Deer feeding restrictions remain in place in Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Rice, Scott and Washington counties. These counties were added on July 1 to the deer feeding and attractant bans that already were in place in other counties affected by chronic wasting disease. Keeping food and attractants away from deer prevents deer from the interaction and close contact that can spread chronic wasting disease.

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