A special deer hunt to collect samples to help determine the extent of chronic wasting disease in wild deer is scheduled in late January and early February.
- Friday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 27
- Friday, Feb. 1, through Sunday, Feb. 3
The hunt will occur in deer permit area 346.
This hunt is one step DNR is taking following the discovery of chronic wasting disease this fall in a wild deer harvested in Houston County. Collecting additional samples will help determine the extent of the infection in this area.
Harvesting deer across a broad area is intended to give DNR a better idea of whether additional wild deer in the area have been infected with CWD. This is the first step in determining the extent of infection in the area.
- CWD testing is mandatory for all deer, regardless of age.
- The hunt is open to both residents and non-residents.
- Blaze clothing is required.
- Hunters may take an unlimited amount of either-sex deer (there is no bag limit).
- Cross-tagging for bucks, commonly called party hunting, is allowed.
- The antler point restriction regulation is not in effect.
- Landowner permission is required to hunt on private land.
- Legal shotguns loaded with single-slug shotgun shells, legal muzzle-loading long guns, legal handguns, archery equipment or legal crossbows may be used for taking deer.
- Crossbows may be used with landowner, firearms or disease management licenses (Exception: Crossbows are not allowed in Great River Bluffs State Park.). A hunter who chooses a crossbow may not party hunt with firearms hunters.
- Coyote hunters must wear blaze orange during legal shooting hours for deer hunting and may use any legal firearm for taking coyotes, but may not take deer while hunting coyote.
- Great River Bluffs State Park will be open to a limited number of hunters who possess a special permit for these lands. Specific rules apply. See the 'Where can I hunt?' section for complete information.
- There are no deer carcass movement restrictions for this hunt. Deer carcasses may be moved in and out of the area during and after this hunt.
- Hunters may use disease management permits and/or any of the following 2018 licenses with unused site tags: landowner (any weapon that is legal for hunting during the firearm season in the shotgun zone), firearms (adult or youth), muzzleloader (youth or adult), bonus permits (antlerless only), early antlerless licenses (antlerless only).
- A hunter with an unfilled 2018 deer license may use it for the weapon type designated by that license (RF = regular firearms/ MZ = muzzleloader). A hunter with an archery license must use archery equipment. Centerfire rifles are not allowed.
- Any hunter may purchase disease management permits, which allow harvest of deer of either sex. These permits are available to residents and non-residents and allow for the use of any legal firearm for zone 3 deer permit areas.
- You do not need a 2018 deer hunting license to hunt with a disease management permit.
- Disease management permits are available online and wherever DNR hunting licenses are sold. The $2.50 cost covers the cost of issuing the permit.
- Hunters may purchase an unlimited number of disease management permits (one permit per deer).
- Any unfilled bonus permits or early-season antlerless licenses may be used for antlerless deer only.
- Registration & testing
- Each deer harvested must be presented at one of five registration stations within 24 hours of harvest or by 10 a.m. the Monday following the hunt, whichever comes first.
- CWD testing is mandatory for all deer, regardless of age. This includes fawns and deer that a person may consider mounting.
- CWD test results will take four to five business days from the date of sampling. Inclement weather and holidays may cause additional delays.
- Results can be checked online at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck or by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367. In both instances, you will need to know your nine-digit DNR number.
- Where can I hunt?
This interactive map shows the special-hunt boundary and CWD sampling locations.
The majority of this special hunt area is private land. Landowner permission is required to hunt. The DNR's authorization of these special hunts does not create open access to private land.
Most public land in the area is open to hunting during the special hunts so those areas may be crowded.
To avoid overcrowding, special permits will be required to hunt in Great River Bluffs State Park, including King’s and Queen’s Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area. There will be 50 permits available for each hunt and the DNR will issue permits on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 15. These free permits are available online and wherever DNR licenses are sold. Hunt number 805 will take place Jan. 25-27 and hunt number 806 will take place Feb. 1-3 in Great River Bluffs State Park/King’s and Queen’s Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area.
The state park will be closed to all except permitted hunters during the designated special hunt times. Hunters must possess a hunting permit for the park, a disease management tag and a valid state park pass to hunt in Great River Bluffs State Park, and must comply with all other park regulations. It will be a regular firearms hunt inside park boundaries; no crossbows are allowed.
The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will also be open to public hunting per state regulations. Hunters should note that, due to the federal government shutdown, refuge staff will not be available to provide any assistance, including answering questions about specific areas for hunting. Hunters should use resources available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site (including detailed pool maps) for further information: www.fws.gov/refuge/Upper_Mississippi_River/map.html.
- What do I need to do after I harvest a deer?
Register your deer and get it tested for CWD.
Any deer harvested during the special hunts must be tested for CWD within 24 hours of harvest or before 10 a.m. on the Monday after the hunt ends, whichever comes first. Each deer must be taken to one of five stations where DNR staff will register the deer and collect lymph-node tissue for CWD testing.
Stations will be open:
- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 27, and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 28.
- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, through Sunday, Feb. 3 , and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 4.
Stations will be located at:
- Houston: BP Gas Station, 801 MN-16
- Rushford: Pam’s Corner Convenience, 107 MN-16
- Witoka: Witoka Tavern, 27999 County Road 9
- Winona: Mills Fleet Farm, 920 E. Highway 61
- La Crescent: Pump 4 Less (Mannings) Gas Station, 301 Kistler Dr.
All deer must be presented for registration and a CWD sample will be collected on all deer, regardless of age. DNR will be testing fawns (deer younger than one year) during this special hunt.
There is no carcass export restriction during this hunt. Hunters can bring their deer home after it is registered and the CWD sample is taken. Hunters are asked to either leave the carcass in a place where it can be recovered or dispose of the remains in household trash.
If you take a deer you wish to shoulder mount, register your deer first. Cape the deer yourself and present it to a DNR official at one of the five stations for sampling. Watch our video on how to cape your own deer.
Check your test results.
Check your results online at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck or call the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367. In both instances, you'll need to have your nine-digit DNR number.
If you harvest a deer that tests positive for CWD, a DNR official will contact you immediately after the result is received. The official will need to know the location of the carcass remains (e.g., head, spinal column), so it can be picked up for disposal at the University of Minnesota, if possible. The hunter can choose to keep meat from this animal or provide it to the DNR for proper disposal.