Landowner deer permits in portions of southeastern Minnesota’s chronic wasting disease management zone become effective this week as the Department of Natural Resources works with eligible landowners to reduce the possibility of disease spread.
“We’re targeting our efforts this year and contacting eligible landowners via letter with the details they need to participate,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager. “With their help, we want to lower deer densities in core chronic wasting disease locations and remove potentially infected deer.”
Only landowners within two miles of any CWD-infected deer discovered in 2016 or 2017 are eligible to receive a shooting permit, which will be effective from mid-February to mid-March. Only landowners or their authorized designees can take deer. There is no public hunting opportunity.
The DNR will sample all deer taken, including fawns. Participating landowners are required to submit heads for testing at designated collection boxes located in the disease management zone.
To encourage participation, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association will conduct a drawing for a muzzleloader. A person will be entered in the drawing each time they take a deer and submit the head for sampling.
If any deer taken during the landowner shooting phase test positive for CWD, the landowner or designee will be contacted and results posted on the DNR’s CWD website at mndnr.gov/cwd.
The special late-season hunt in southeastern Minnesota revealed no new instances of CWD. Late season participation and harvest was down from 2017. Participants harvested 374 deer, down from the 2017 late hunt harvest of 900.
The total number of CWD positive wild deer sampled in this disease management area remains at 17, with six new positives identified in the fall of 2017.
A map of the disease management zone and additional information about DNR’s efforts to keep Minnesota’s wild deer healthy are available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd. Because disease information can change rapidly, people are encouraged to regularly check back for updates.