DNR Assists Deer Hunters In Chronic Wasting Disease Prevention


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been an exciting morning for nearly half a million hunters in Minnesota. Firearms deer hunting opener is a family tradition for many, including Gov. Tim Walz.

In a video on Twitter Walz says in part, “We know it’s time to bring family and friends together for this opportunity to enjoy the incredible blessings we have in our natural resources. So, big thank you to all the landowners, all the hunters, DNR for what they do, and remember, each of us can do something to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.”

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Mark Iseminger has been hunting for several years. He was seen at the DNR Wildlife Office in Rosemount. Iseminger shot a young buck with his crossbow.

“I enjoy the venison but I don’t really enjoy the kill. But glad I got one,” said Iseminger.

Instead of racing home with the trophy, Iseminger took his deer to get tested for Chronic Wasting Disease. CDW is a neurological disease affecting deer species including elk and moose. Although it’s rare in Minnesota, the DNR says it’s not taking any chances.

“We have CWD and mandatory monitoring in certain deer permit areas throughout the state,” said Seth Gorham, the acting wildlife research manager with the DNR.

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DNR staff along with students are now manning stations throughout the state to assist hunters in CWD sampling. Lymph nodes are extracted from the deer’s head and then sent to a lab.

“We will not be contacting hunters unless the results are positive,” explained Gorham.

It could take two to four weeks for results. According to the DNR website, three cases of CWD were found in the state this year. Experts say it’s important to properly dispose of a carcass because if it gets into the soil or water and it’s CWD positive, the disease can spread widely through a herd or certain area.

“We’re highly encouraging people to use dumpsters; we have various dumpsters throughout the state [available],” said Gorham.

Additional information about CWD areas, carcass movement restrictions, and voluntary sampling can be found here.

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