DNR hosts open houses to inform hunters on new regulations and Chronic Wasting Disease

DNR hosts open houses to inform hunters on new regulations and Chronic Wasting Disease

NICOLLET, Minn. (KEYC) - Deer hunting season is approaching, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reaching out to hunting enthusiasts until early September to spread the word on new regulations and Chronic Wasting Disease.

“Chronic Waste Disease is what we mainly talked about, and a few different hunting opportunities that people are bringing up," said deer hunter Michael Hasse.

According to the DNR, Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is a fatal brain and nervous system disease found in deer and elk caused by an abnormally shaped protein that can damage brain and nerve tissue.

This hunting season, hunters in the southeast management zone, north central management zone, southeast control zone and the central surveillance area will be required to bring their deer in for testing.

Details of all the areas are listed here.

This map details the areas under the southeast CWD control and management zones.
This map details the areas under the southeast CWD control and management zones. (Source: DNR)

According to the DNR, typical signs of the disease include drooping head or ears and incoordination.

Other signs include staggering, drooling and excessive urination.

“Deer who get this disease will always die, but before they die they may spread the disease, and the disease can have a very hard impact on deer populations," said Area Wildlife Supervisor Stein Innvaer.

Hunters must bring deer to a CWD sampling location.

“And what we do is remove some lymph nodes from the deer and send those in for testing," Innvaer said.

According to the DNR's website, from July 2018 through June 2019, there were 8,040 total samples collected statewide.

Thirty-four tested positive.

Innvaer said the DNR tries to lower the density of the deer population so that the likelihood of the deer passing the disease from one deer to the other is reduced.

The DNR said there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans.

The complete open house schedule can be found here.

You can view complete regulations online here.

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