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Minnesota Retools Deer Season in CWD Area

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August 02, 2011

Minnesota Retools Deer Season in CWD Area

By Scott Bestul

Minnesota deer hunters who hunt near Pine Island (in the southeastern corner of the state) will have to follow some new rules this fall as the state DNR responds to last year's discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)in the area. The general firearms hunt will be expanded to a 23-day season, tissue samples will be required of all registered deer, and carcass import/export restrictions will be in place.

Last fall, the Gopher State’s first CWD-positive whitetail was killed by a bowhunter near Pine Island, a small town just outside of Rochester. In response, the DNR opened a special “surveillance area” in a 10-mile radius surrounding the original kill site last winter, issuing shooting permits to 315 landowners and hiring USDA sharpshooters to remove adult deer in the area. That effort ended April 1, with over 1,000 deer submitted for testing. No additional CWD-positive deer were discovered.

I live less than an hour from here and, like most of this region’s deer hunters, was relieved when no further evidence of CWD was found. Of course, that doesn’t mean the disease isn’t there and it will be a small miracle if no further cases are found this year. I’m also supportive of the DNR’s tweaking of the season and its commitment to test hunter-killed animals. Obviously, the extended gun hunt will result in an elevated kill, which will increase sample size and indicate how widespread the disease is in the area.

But it will be interesting to see how well landowner/hunter participation and acceptance—which has been good up to this point—will evolve if more deer test positive. CWD is still a mysterious disease and the general response of most game agencies that encounter it is pretty simpl: kill more deer. As our neighbors in Wisconsin will attest, public acceptance of that remedy has its limits.

Comments (6)

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from 007 wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

WV is taking some similar measures in the areas where CWD has been found.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from walmsley wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

over 1000 deer dead- with no cwd found- HUH-----
It's never been stopped anywhere in the U.S. by mass killing that I know of. SOOOOOOOO???????? Loose 6% where it exists, or kill 100%- Intersting-

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNflyfisher wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I'm happy to see the dnr is doing so much to stop CWD, I would hate to see it spread more into the other parts of the state.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

what exactly is the reason for killing all of the deer and where are they on research for this disease?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I live in northern MN not far from where TB-infected deer were found a few years back. Mass shooting and open seasons began then too and I believe that is now finished. A few more deer tested positive but I believe none did in 2010. Public acceptance of cleaning out the deer was not good for the most part and deer hunting will be tough for a number of years now. God forbid that CWD moves through MN, that is all we don't need up here after the TB outbreak!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rob1 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Seems odd ONE 9 year old deer is missing from a local pen and now after killing another 1000 nothing further has been found....Hmmmm. Shoot first or investigate futher?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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from walmsley wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

over 1000 deer dead- with no cwd found- HUH-----
It's never been stopped anywhere in the U.S. by mass killing that I know of. SOOOOOOOO???????? Loose 6% where it exists, or kill 100%- Intersting-

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

WV is taking some similar measures in the areas where CWD has been found.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNflyfisher wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I'm happy to see the dnr is doing so much to stop CWD, I would hate to see it spread more into the other parts of the state.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

what exactly is the reason for killing all of the deer and where are they on research for this disease?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rob1 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Seems odd ONE 9 year old deer is missing from a local pen and now after killing another 1000 nothing further has been found....Hmmmm. Shoot first or investigate futher?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I live in northern MN not far from where TB-infected deer were found a few years back. Mass shooting and open seasons began then too and I believe that is now finished. A few more deer tested positive but I believe none did in 2010. Public acceptance of cleaning out the deer was not good for the most part and deer hunting will be tough for a number of years now. God forbid that CWD moves through MN, that is all we don't need up here after the TB outbreak!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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