The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has made several changes to this year’s deer hunting regulations to manage chronic wasting disease in wild deer. CWD sampling is voluntary for 2020, with hunters submitting samples from their deer at unstaffed sampling stations that take into account social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hunters will also find a new management zone and new surveillance areas in the regulations, after CWD was detected in wild and farmed deer in new areas.
Full lists of self-service sampling stations, as well as dumpster locations to assist with carcass movement restrictions will be available at mndnr.gov/cwd.
Mandatory carcass movement restrictions
Mandatory carcass movement restrictions are in effect for all CWD management and control zones, in southeastern Minnesota and the south-metro area. Whole carcasses cannot leave these zones until a “not detected” test result is received. If hunters do not submit their deer for sampling, they must debone and quarter their deer, in order to transport their harvest. No carcass movement restrictions are in place in CWD surveillance areas, where the disease has not been discovered in wild deer.
Management zone and surveillance area changes
Based on discoveries of CWD in wild and captive deer in new areas last year and this spring, the DNR will monitor and manage the disease in these newly created areas, as guided by its CWD response plan.
The north-central management zone (DPA 604), southeast management zone (DPAs 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649 and 655) and southeast control zone (DPAs 255, 343 and 344) remain the same as last year. There will be no additional sampling in the central CWD surveillance area this year, which concluded its three-year sampling effort last fall with the disease not detected.
Feeding ban expansion
On July 1, deer feeding and attractant bans were expanded to include areas in and near the metro area when six additional counties (Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Rice, Scott and Washington) were added to deer feeding and attractant bans.