Up North: CWD Testing to Take Place First Two Days of Minnesota Firearms Deer Season

November 01, 2017 10:55 PM

Due to chronic wasting disease (CWD) popping up in part of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has imposed mandatory testing in some areas. It will only take place during the firearms deer weekend opener.

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CWD was found in wild dee in Southeastern Minnesota. It was also found in farm deer in both Meeker County and Crow Wing County.As a result, in these area every deer taken November 4 and 5 must be tested for the disease.

"It's really no different than any wildlife or human disease," said Minnesota DNR Wildlife Research Manager Lou Cornicelli. "You don't just sit around and kick the dirt wondering how things will turn out, you actively respond to disease threats."

Cornicelli added that the DNR believes that early detection is the key to disease control and response. That is why mandatory testing will occur at 19 locations in north central Minnesota, 16 in central Minnesota, and 12 locations in southeastern corner.

"Because CWD can be spread so easily from deer to deer, it's not known exactly how, but it is such a detrimental thing to deer herds that we want to get the handled as soon as we can," said Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Region 3 Director Brad Trevena.

According to the DNR, CWD testing takes just minutes and consists of taking out two lymph nodes from the neck of the deer. However, the DNR is encouraging hunters to take a few preliminary steps before heading to the testing center. Three tips are listed below:

1. Field dress and gut the deer like normal.

2. When loading deer into the vehicle, place the head toward the tailgate or at the end of the trailer to make the head more easily accessible.

3. Register deer before coming to the station. Even if you register your deer first, you must come to the station to have it tested.

A total of 3,600 samples are needed from hunters in these areas to accurately test for the presence of CWD in wild deer. Testing is said to take 2-3 weeks, but you'll only hear from the DNR is your deer tests positive.

These tests are part of the DNR's proactive approach to detect the disease early to insure a healthy deer population with deer that are safe to eat.

"Hunters should be concerned because we don't want to leave that legacy of a chronic disease on the landscape for our children or grandchildren," added Cornicelli.

For more information on permit areas required to participate in these tests please visit


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