The D-N-R is urging, but will not require hunters this fall to submit deer samples from certain areas of the state to be tested for chronic wasting disease. The agency’s Michelle Carstensen says, “Because of COVID… we moved away from any mandatory sampling this year, so across all of our areas it’s gonna be voluntary.” And Carstensen says sampling drop-off stations will be self-service to minimize contact between hunters and D-N-R personnel.
In addition to previously-established chronic wasting “management zones” in southeast Minnesota and the Brainerd area, the D-N-R is now also asking hunters to submit samples from deer taken in Pope and Douglas counties, Pine County, and Dakota County in the south metro area. Meeker County has been dropped from the list.
Carstensen says a deer found in Dakota County was about a hundred miles from any other known CWD-positive deer, “So we have no understanding of really where this deer came from or if there’s more disease in this area and this was some sort of a tip-of-the-iceberg kind of scenario.”
For more information about the chronic wasting management zones in Minnesota, visit the D-N-R’s website.