Deer feeding & attractants bans

What counties are currently affected?

Map showing the three areas of Minnesota where deer feeding is not allowed.
Updated July 2018

Deer feeding ban only – affects the 11 north-central and central counties listed below. Deer in the north-central and central surveillances areas are not known to have CWD. Please note that attractants have not been banned in these counties and can be used.

  • North-central counties: Aitkin, Crow Wing, Morrison and the portion of Cass County south of Minnesota highways 34 and 200 and the portion of Mille Lacs county north of County Road 11
  • Central counties: Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Stearns, Wright and the portion of Renville County north of U.S. Highway 212.

Feeding and attractants ban – affects the six southeast counties listed below. Note that Wabasha County was added in 2018. All feed and natural or artificial attractants are prohibited. This is the only area in Minnesota where CWD is known to exist in wild deer.

  • Southeastern counties: Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona.
Why are there bans in Minnesota?

Feeding and attractant bans are in place across the state to prevent concentrations of wild deer in areas with a higher risk for CWD. These are precautionary steps DNR took after CWD-positive deer were found both in the wild and on deer farms. Feeding bans encompass wider areas because food sources can concentrate deer and allow for close contact – one of the mechanisms for CWD spread.

What counts as feed and attractants?
  • Feed is defined as salt, minerals, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay or other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer.
  • Attractant is defined as cervid urine, blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluids. This includes natural or artificial products such as bottled estrus and mock scrape drips.

People who feed birds or small mammals must do so in a manner that prevents deer access. Place the food at least six feet above ground level. Food placed as a result of normal agricultural practices is generally exempt from the feeding ban. Cattle operators should take steps that minimize contact between deer and cattle.