Landowner deer permits in portions of southeastern Minnesota's chronic wasting disease management zone become effective Feb. 12 as the Department of Natural Resources works with eligible landowners to reduce the possibility of disease spread.
Only landowners within 2 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 online.
No chronic wasting disease was detected in 275 samples from deer that hunters harvested during a special late-season hunt Jan. 6-14 in and near southeastern Minnesota's disease management zone.
No chronic wasting disease was detected in more than 11,000 precautionary samples from deer that hunters harvested this fall in north-central, central and southeastern Minnesota.
Given no deer with CWD were found in north-central and central Minnesota, the DNR will narrow surveillance next fall to areas closer to the farms where CWD was detected.
A fourth precautionary surveillance area will be added in fall 2018 in Winona County because CWD recently was detected in captive deer there.
CWD information can change rapidly. Please check back regularly for important updates.