Mandatory testing for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) continues in southeastern Minnesota’s deer permit area 602 when the firearm deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 3. Hunters are required to register their deer in person and may not remove the carcass from the area until a negative test result is reported.

These registration stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the 23-day season:

  • Neptune Bar and Grill, 468 Highway 60, Zumbro Falls.
  • Greenway Coop, Pine Island.
  • Archery Headquarters, 3440 Northern Valley Place, Rochester.
  • Gander Mountain, 3470 55th St NW, Rochester.
  • Kasson Hardware Hank, 11 4th St. SE, Kasson.

Phone and Internet registration options are not allowed for deer harvested in this area. Hunters are encouraged to promptly register their deer so that the CWD sample can be removed and test results can be reported back in a timely manner. Removing the tissue sample takes only a few minutes and requires the extraction of one pair of lymph nodes from the head.

Samples will be submitted daily and results will be reported back within three business days. Because of sample volume, the only exception may be the Monday following opening weekend where results could take four business days. Test results can be checked online at www.mndnr.gov/cwd.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff will work with area taxidermists to accommodate hunters who plan on mounting their deer.

Detailed information regarding CWD management, registration, sample submission and carcass requirements can be found on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/cwd. Hunters are strongly encouraged to monitor this site as new information is added as it becomes available.

Chronic wasting disease belongs to a family of infectious diseases, called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which alter the morphology of the central nervous system, resulting in a “sponge-like” appearance of this tissue. It is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion, that affects the animal’s brain and is invariably fatal. The disease can spread from one animal to another; months to years pass from the time an animal is infected to when it shows signs of the disease.CWD only affects elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer and moose

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health agencies have concluded there is no known link between CWD and any neurological disease in humans. However, both the CDC and the World Health Organization recommend that no part of a known positive animal should be consumed by humans. Additionally, there is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to species other than deer, elk or moose.

DNR has been actively on the lookout for CWD since 2002, when the disease was first found in a domestic elk farm in central Minnesota. Surveillance efforts increased in southeastern Minnesota during fall 2009 after tests in January 2009 determined that four captive elk on a farm near Pine Island were infected with CWD. Heightened surveillance efforts continue but annual tests of hunter-harvested deer have detected only one positive result, which occurred in 2010.

Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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