Precautionary CWD testing this fall
The red triangle on the map shows the location of the farm where captive deer infected with CWD were found.
DNR needs hunters' help this fall to determine if CWD has spread to wild deer from captive deer on a farm near Merrifield in Crow Wing County.
Wild deer in this area of north-central Minnesota are not known to have CWD. But that can't be confirmed without testing. So DNR is asking area hunters to bring harvested deer to a sampling station for mandatory precautionary CWD testing during the first two days of this fall's firearms season.
DNR needs 3,600 samples from hunters in this area to accurately test for the presence of CWD in wild deer.
- Aitkin: Aitkin DNR Office, 1200 Minnesota Ave S.
- Backus: Backus DNR Office, 4391 Highway 87 NW
- Brainerd: Brainerd Wayside Rest, 7393 Highway 371
- Crosby: Crosby City Park, 2 2nd St SW
- Emily: Emily Volunteer Fire Department, 20823 County Highway 1
- Garrison: Mille Lacs Public Boat Access, 8906 US-169, Garrison
- Hill City: Hill City DNR Office, 454 US-169
- Leader: Leader 64 Stop, 7596 Highway 64
- Little Falls: Little Falls DNR Office, 16543 Haven Rd.
- Longville: Longville 1 Stop Overflow, 5006 Highway 84 NE
- Malmo: Malmo Memorial Park, 32584 222nd Lane.
- McGregor: McGregor Wayside, 55760 Highway 65
- Motley: Motely Bricks Travel Center, 165 Riverfront Lane
- Nimrod: Nimrod DNR Office, 30066 Huntersville Rd.
- Nisswa: Gull Lake East Public Access, 5056 Nashway Rd.
- Onamia: Onamia DNR Office, 305 Roosevelt Rd.
- Palisade: Palisade Community Center/Fire Department, 48052 Nature Ave.
- Pine River: Cass County Fairground, 525 First St N
- Remer: Remer Junction, 6790 Highway 200
What to do
- Field dress (gut) your deer as you normally would.
- Register your animal on same day of harvest online, by phone or at any walk-in big game registration station.
- When loading your deer into a vehicle, place head toward tailgate or door so the neck/head is easily accessible for sampling. This will speed up the process.
- You can also bring in just the head with 4" of neck attached.
- Take your deer to get tested for CWD at a sampling station from 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, or Sunday, Nov. 5. Stations will only be open on these days.
- A CWD sample consists of cutting out two lymph nodes from the neck of the deer, just behind the jaw.
- DNR staff will collect the lymph node samples and some information from you (your DNR number and location of harvest). Plan ahead and:
- Have your blue, deer license registration stub handy.
- Know where on a map you harvested the deer within your deer permit area.
- If you plan to European mount your deer, this testing will not ruin your mount. It will ruin the cape of the deer if you plan to keep your cape.
- If you plan to shoulder mount your deer or save the cape there are options:
- Cape the deer before you bring it in or at least skin the hide back up to the base of the jaw.
- Take it to one of the participating taxidermists trained to take the sample. A list of participating taxidermists trained in sample collection will be online soon.
- Hunters will not be notified of their test result unless it comes back positive. Testing takes about 10-14 business days and no news is good news!