CWD special hunts

Special deer hunts to help limit the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer were held in December in parts of the state where persistent CWD infection in free-ranging deer has been identified. 

When:

  • Friday, Dec. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019
  • Friday, Dec. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019

Where:

  • 643
  • 646
  • 647
  • 648

Map highlighting the DPAs included in the special hunts in SE Minnesota: 643, 646, 647, 648.

Map of the southeast Minnesota special hunts

Interactive map

Basic hunt information

  • Hunters must present their deer at a CWD sampling station, regardless of age.
  • Carcass movement restrictions will be in effect for this hunt; whole carcasses must stay within the 600-series DPAs until a "not detected" test result is received. A whole carcass can be moved to another 600-series DPA even if it is not open to the special hunts (for example, a whole carcass can move from 643 to 655). Dumpsters will be available for hunters to dispose of carcasses.
  • The hunts are open to both residents and non-residents.
  • Blaze clothing is required.
  • There is no bag limit for bucks and does.
  • 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.
  • Some State Parks and Scientific and Natural Areas will be open to hunting. See the "Where can I hunt?" section below for complete information.

Licenses

  • Any unfilled deer license, tag or disease management permit is legal for the hunts. However, parent license weapon restrictions are still in place. For example, a hunter using an unfilled archery license must use archery equipment. However, the hunter may purchase a disease management permit for $2.50 and use a firearm.  
  • During these hunts only, a parent license is not required to purchase a disease management permit. 
  • During these hunts only, disease management permits are valid for taking antlered bucks or antlerless deer. Outside of these hunts they are only for antlerless deer. 
  • Antlered deer cannot be tagged with bonus tags or early antlerless tags.
  • The shotgun zone still applies to these hunts. 
  • Crossbows may be used with landowner, firearms or disease management permits. Hunters who choose to hunt with a crossbow may not party hunt with firearms hunters. 
  • Coyote hunters must wear blaze orange/pink during legal shooting hours for deer hunting and may use any legal firearm for taking coyotes, but may not take deer while coyote hunting. 

Registration and testing

  • Hunters must register their harvest on the day of harvest. (Do this by phone at 888-706-6367; online; or in-person at one of these locations.) Getting your deer tested for CWD does not count as registering your deer.
  • Each deer harvested must be presented at a sampling station within 24 hours of harvest or by 10 a.m. the Monday following the hunt, whichever comes first. Sampling station locations are posted below.
  • CWD testing is mandatory for all deer, regardless of age. This includes deer that a person may consider mounting. (Hunters can work with a participating taxidermist to have their deer sampled, which are listed on the southeast management zone page.)
  • CWD test results typically are posted four to five business days from the date of sampling. Inclement weather and holidays may cause additional delays; it can take 7-10 days.
  • 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 MDNR number from your license.

Where can I hunt?

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. Use recreation compass to locate public land.

Some state parks and scientific and natural areas will be open to hunting. To avoid overcrowding, special permits will be required to hunt in select parks/areas, in addition to a hunting license. These limited permits were available from Dec. 4 through Dec. 23 on a first-come, first-served basis online and wherever DNR licenses are sold. 

PlacePermit RequiredNo. of Available PermitsHunt No.
Cherry Grove Blind Valley Scientific and Natural AreaNoNot applicableNot applicable
Rushford Sand Barrens Scientific and Natural AreaNoNot applicableNot applicable
Forestville/Mystery Cave State ParkYes (also requires a valid state park pass on vehicle)

130 sold out

130 no longer for sale

801 (Dec. 20-22)

802 (Dec. 27-29)

Pin Oak Prairie Scientific and Natural AreaYes

6 sold out

6 sold out

803 (Dec. 20-22)

804 (Dec. 27-29)

Great River Bluffs State Park and Kings and Queens Scientific and Natural AreaYes (also requires a valid state park pass on vehicle)

50 sold out

50 sold out

805 (Dec. 20-22)

806 (Dec. 27-29)

What do I need to do after I harvest a deer?

1. Register your harvest the same day it was harvested.

Do this by phone at 888-706-6367; online at mndnr.gov/gameregistration; or in-person at one of these locations. (Full details on each method available here.) Getting your deer tested for CWD does not count as registering your deer.

2. Provide a sample.

Any deer harvested during the special hunts must be tested for CWD within 24 hours of harvest.

Stations will be staffed from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. on Dec. 20-22 and Dec. 27-29; locations are listed below.

Prep your deer for sampling and gather important information prior to arriving at the station:

  • Bring the deer in before it is frozen to make lymph node extraction easier.
  • Have the deer’s head accessible for staff. (E.g., head facing toward truck’s tailgate, not on top of vehicle or under gear; not wrapped in tarp.)
  • Have your blue hunting license ready and know your harvest location: township, range and section. (Find your township, range and section level using the DNR Recreation Compass. Simply click the map in the area you hunted, and a pop-up box will come up under the County header, preceded by PLS.)
3. Keep the carcass in the southeast disease management zone (600-series DPAs) until you receive a “not detected” CWD test result.

Whole carcasses of all deer, including fawns, whole carcasses must stay within the southeast disease management zone until a "not detected" test result is received. A whole carcass can be moved to another 600-series DPA even if it is not open to the special hunts (for example, a whole carcass can move from 643 to 655).

Map of carcass disposal locations for 2019 special hunts.

Dumpsters will be available for hunters to dispose of carcasses; see map or the list below for locations. Refrigerated trailers to hold deer will not be provided by the DNR.

See the carcass import and movement restrictions page for more details.

If you need to leave the southeast disease management zone quarter your deer and take only the meat, and dispose of the carcass properly. Or take the deer to a meat processor within the special hunt area.

  • If you wish to leave the southeast disease management zone before test results are available, you may properly quarter your deer or bone out the meat; however, the head, spinal column and all brain material must remain in the zone until the test result shows a “not detected” confirmation. Learn how to quarter your deer by watching this video.
4. Stay tuned for your test results.

Check test results at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck or by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367.

A DNR official will contact you only if your deer tests positive for CWD.

Where do I bring my deer for sampling?

Staffed sampling stations

All locations will be open from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. on Dec. 20-22 and Dec. 27-29.

DEER PERMIT AREACITYSTATION LOCATION/ADDRESSDUMPSTERQUARTERING STATION
643RochesterDNR shop at Gordy Yeager WMA, 
2300 Silver Creek Road NE
645WinonaMills Fleet Farm, 920 E. Highway 61 
646 HoustonBP Gas Station, 801 MN-16 
646 La CrescentLa Crescent Joint Public Works Facility, 
450 S. Chestnut St.
646Rushford

DNR leased building, 305 Industrial Drive

(*note change of location from earlier season)

646 WitokaWitoka Tavern, 27999 County Road 9
647 Spring ValleyCity Lot across from Spring Valley Public Utilities, 
104 S. Section St.
  
648 ChatfieldMagnum Sports, 20 Main St. S.
*Dumpster is located at the nearby Pope and Young Club,
271 Mille Creek Road NW
✔* 
648 PrestonDNR Forestry Office, 912 Houston St. NW

Self-service sampling stations

If you are unable to bring your deer to the sampling station during staffed hours, the following self-service sampling stations are open 24/7.

DEER PERMIT AREACITYSTATION LOCATION/ADDRESSDUMPSTERQUARTERING STATION
643KassonHardware Hank, 11 Fourth St. SE  
645St. CharlesWinona County Fairgrounds, behind A&W, 
518 W. 6th St.
647Granger/
Harmony
Near intersection of 120th Street and Kingbird Road (319)
647StewartvilleBear Cave Park, 800 10th St. NW
648MabelSteam Engine Days Park, 90 E. Alpine Ave.  
649CaledoniaHouston County Fairgrounds, 1316 E. Washington St.
655LeRoyLake Louise State Park, 12385 766th Ave.  

Can I donate deer that I harvest?

Hunters who wish to donate venison may utilize the venison donation program. Hunters must use
participating processors within the 600-series to comply with carcass movement restrictions (unless a
"non detected" test result is received or meat is deboned or quartered). Options include:

  • Bluff Country Meats (Eitzen)
  • Wilson Smoke (Winona)