DNR: Targeting CWD by expanding hunting, limiting deer-to-deer contact
Minnesota is taking a three-pronged approach to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease and keep Minnesota’s wild deer population healthy, the DNR said in a news release Tuesday, Aug. 27.
First, the DNR is expanding hunting opportunities and bag limits in areas where CWD has been found in wild deer. Harvesting more deer will reduce the possibility of additional disease spread because there will be fewer deer in lower densities, the DNR said.
The second prong is a deer feeding and attractant ban that affects 18 counties in southeastern and north central Minnesota and a continued feeding ban in six central Minnesota counties. These restrictions will reduce the potential for close contact between deer. Shared food allows direct deer-to-deer contact. Diseased deer also can contaminate the food even if they are not present when healthy deer come to eat.
Limiting movement of deer carcasses is the third aspect of the DNR’s approach to managing CWD. These measures restrict movement of deer harvested near locations where other hunters have harvested CWD-positive deer. Hunters in southeast and north central Minnesota should be aware of carcass movement restrictions. Details of these restrictions are available online at mndnr.gov/deerimports. The restrictions also do not allow whole carcasses of any deer, elk, moose or caribou harvested outside Minnesota to be brought into Minnesota.
Details about how the DNR manages CWD can be found in its CWD response plan available on the DNR website.