CWD Management Zone – DPA 603

Special CWD hunt scheduled

A special hunt to help limit the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer is scheduled during two weekends in December. The hunt is one step DNR is taking to contain CWD in southeast Minnesota.

Sampling is mandatory in DPA 603

Map showing boundaries for CWD Management Zone in southeast Minnesota. Click the map above to enlarge it or download a printable map Or use the CWD interactive map

Click the "Where can I get my deer tested …" question below for a list of sampling stations and head collection box locations. Or use the CWD interactive map

  • All deer must be presented in person at a DNR sampling station for mandatory CWD sampling during the entire firearms season.
  • Fawns will not be tested but must be presented to confirm age.
  • A special carcass tag will be attached to the deer to verify sampling and/or age.
  • During archery and muzzleloader seasons, hunters must submit the head of all adult deer (one year and older) for testing at a DNR head collection box.
  • Carcass movement restrictions (see below) apply during all hunting seasons.
  • A quartering station, sponsored by Bluffland Whitetails Association, is now open behind the Preston forestry office. Scroll down for more information on using the station.
  • All hunters must register their own deer via Internet, phone or walk-in registration before sampling. DNR staff at sampling stations will not be able to register deer.

Where can I get my deer tested within the CWD management zone?

Sampling stations

During the Firearms Statewide (A) and Late Southeast (B) seasons, the following sampling stations will be staffed by DNR. Station hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m on the A and B opening weekends, and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. during the remainder of the firearms seasons.
Download a printable map

Slide text left for full locations and addresses

ChatfieldStrongwell (staffed during 3A/3B opening weekends Nov. 3-4 and 17-18)Strongwell, 1610 US-52, Chatfield, 55923
ChatfieldMagnum Sports (staffed during remaining days of entire 3A/3B firearms seasons)Magnum Sports, 20 Main Street South, Chatfield 55923
Forestville *Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (staffed during entire 3A/3B opening weekends only)21302 County Road 118, Preston, 55965
PrestonDNR Forestry Office (staffed every day during entire 3A/3B firearms seasons)912 Houston Street Northwest, Preston, 55965
* Note that Forestville is only open during the weekends of Nov. 3-4 and 17-18. They will not be accepting samples outside of these dates.

Head collection boxes

During the archery and muzzleloader seasons, the following locations will have head collection boxes available. Hunters are required to fill out a form documenting where the deer was taken and leave the head in the box for sampling. This is mandatory for all adult deer (one year and older).
Download a printable map

Slide text left for full locations and addresses

ChatfieldMagnum Sports20 Main Street, Chatfield, 55923
HarmonyOak Meadows Meats50 9th Street, Harmony, 55939
LanesboroDNR Fisheries Office23789 Grosbeak Road, Lanesboro, 55949
PrestonDNR Area Forestry Office912 Houston Street, Preston, 55965
WykoffGoodies and Gas404 East Front Street, Wykoff, 55990

What can I harvest in the Deer Permit Area 603?
  • Hunters may harvest an unlimited number of antlerless deer, with only one buck allowed per hunter, per year. Exceptions may be made during special hunts.
  • Hunters may cross-tag bucks and harvest any antlered buck. The antler point restriction (APR) is not in effect.
  • Hunters may use an (A) or (3B) license during any firearm season. Unlimited disease management tags are available for purchase for $2.50 to take antlerless deer.
What are the carcass movement restrictions within the CWD management zone?
  • Whole carcasses and carcass remains must be kept within DPA 603 until a "not detected" test result is confirmed. Test results may take up to five business days.
  • Fawns must be registered and tagged with a DNR provided carcass tag, and then the intact carcass may leave DPA 603 immediately.
  • Other deer parts that are permitted to leave the zone without restriction are:
    • Quarters or other portions of the meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
    • Meat that is boned out or cut and wrapped (commercially or privately)
    • Hides and teeth
    • Antlers or clean (with no brain tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.

Dumpsters will be provided at the Preston DNR Forestry Office, 912 Houston Street Northwest, from Sep. 15 to Dec. 31. These are available for hunters within the CWD Management Zone – DPA 603 to properly dispose of carcass remains.

Bluffland Whitetails quartering station now open in Preston

Bluffland Whitetails Association is sponsoring a deer carcass quartering station beginning with the early archery season through the firearms season.

The enclosed station is in Preston, next to the DNR forestry office and behind the Fillmore County sheriff'soffice.

This station was made possible with a collaborative effort between BWA, DNR and the Fillmore County engineer's office.

With carcass movement restrictions in place, the goal of the station is to assist hunters who hunt inside deer permit area 603 with a place to break down their registered harvest and help prevent the potential spread of CWD.

Exterior view of Bluffland Whitetails Association's quartering station in Preston
Another exterior view of Bluffland Whitetails Association's quartering station in Preston

The enclosed station has items to help hunters quarter out their harvest and clean up after themselves. Items supplied include a hoist to remove your deer hide; lighted enclosure to get out of the elements; tables for working on/packing up your venison; and various cleaning supplies. Individual hunters must provide their own knives and water.

A water barrel may be on site to use for cleaning/rinsing surfaces and equipment. But with dropping overnight temperatures in the fall, the water may freeze. There are three locations (BP, Dollar Store and Casey's) within a couple blocks that sell water in gallon jugs.

This station will be operated on the honor system and BWA asks hunters/sportsmen to treat items as they would their own, with care and respect. BWA recommends each hunter/sportsmen who uses the station reads the posted quartering station guidelines on the enclosures sidewall before they begin breaking down their harvest.

DNR is supplying a dumpster (adjacent to enclosed quartering station) at this site again this year for the disposal of carcasses harvested in 603 and a head collection box for mandatory CWD sampling.

Interior view of Bluffland Whitetails Association's quartering station in Preston
Another interior view of Bluffland Whitetails Association's quartering station in Preston