Precautionary CWD testing this fall
Gray-striped areas of this map show deer permit areas in southeastern Minnesota surrounding the CWD management zone, which is shown in pink. The CWD management zone (deer permit area 603) has different and more restrictive testing requirements.
DNR needs hunters' help this fall to determine if CWD has spread to other wild deer in southeastern Minnesota.
Wild deer in this area may have contracted the disease because they are close to an area where CWD has been documented. 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 1,800 samples from hunters in this area to accurately test for presence of CWD in wild deer.
- Caledonia: Houston County Fair Grounds, 203 S History Lane
- Chatfield: Strongwell, 1610 US-52
- Forestville: Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, 21071 County Rd 118
- La Crescent: Hoka-La Crescent School, 1301 Lancer Blvd.
- Mabel: Steam Engine Park, 201 S. Main St.
- Preston: DNR Forestry Office, 912 Houston St. NW
- Rochester: Menards - North, 6733 Prairie Vista Dr.
- Rushford: Rushford WinTech Electronics, Miller Circle
- Spring Valley: Deer Creek Speedway, 25262 US Hwy 63
- St Charles: Winona County Fair Grounds, 506 W 6th St.
- Stewartville: Stewartville Electricians Union, 9 80th Street
- Winona: JC Penneys / Fastenal, 1858 Service Dr.
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!