Chronic wasting disease management

Draft CWD response plan released

The DNR has released a draft of its chronic wasting disease response plan, which explains the DNR’s strategies to manage CWD in Minnesota. The detailed plan, along with several fact sheets, is available for download

CWD-positive deer found in Crow Wing County

The DNR has confirmed chronic wasting disease in a wild deer in Crow Wing County. This test result marks the first time in Minnesota the always-fatal neurological disease has been found in a wild deer outside of the southeastern part of the state. The DNR is targeting a localized area to remove infected deer. It is offering landowner shooting permits and working with willing landowners to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove additional deer on their properties. 

The Crow Wing County deer, an adult female, was found Jan. 23 on the northwest side of Upper Mission Lake, northeast of the town of Merrifield. A conservation officer responded to a report of a deceased deer in the area. Test results confirmed the deer as positive for CWD on Feb. 14. The necropsy report is available on the north central Minnesota CWD management page.

Test results

  • Is your test in? Type in your DNR number and check for results.
  • All deer that test positive for CWD will be reported on the results page. DNR will directly notify any hunter who harvests a deer that tests positive.

Share the harvest

Landowners can donate harvested deer and people can sign up to receive donated venison through harvest sharing partnerships in southeast and north central Minnesota with the Blufflands Whitetails Association and Turn In Poachers. People who would like to receive donated venison will be able to add their name to a first-come, first-served donation list when deer become available.

Videos to help hunters

View our how-to videos for instructions on how to quarter a deer, how to cape a trophy deer and how to remove lymph nodes for your own CWD test.


Current deer feeding and attractants bans

The deer feeding and attractants ban has expanded and now includes Wabasha County. For definitions of feed, attractants and where the bans are currently in place, visit the feeding and attractant bans page for more information.

2017 sampling results

Fall 2017 mandatory CWD surveillance

Surveillance areaTotal samples collectedPositive
(excluding DPA 603)

CWD Management Zone (DPA 603) surveillance

Surveillance effortTotal samples collectedPositive
Fall Hunting Seasons (Sept. 16- Dec. 31, 2017)1,1856
Late Hunt (Jan. 6-14, 2018)2750
Landowner Shooting Permits (Feb. 10 - Mar. 10, 2018)190

For more information about CWD in Minnesota, including a map of known positives, please visit the About page.

Southeast deer movement study

The DNR is in the second year of studying deer movement in southeastern Minnesota, using GPS collars to track animal movements, particularly those of juvenile deer leaving their natal home ranges. This information will help us understand movements and potential spread of CWD in this area.

Collared and ear-tagged deer are not protected and any hunter may harvest them during a hunting season. If you do harvest a collared or ear-tagged deer, please notify DNR by calling 507-380-1858. If you capture any pictures of a collared deer and are willing to share, please email them to [email protected].

For more information about this project, please visit the southeast deer movement study page.