CWD testing required in deer permit area 603 for early antlerless, youth hunts

Hunters in permit area 603 taking part in the early antlerless-only or youth deer hunting seasons are required to have their deer tested for chronic wasting disease and cannot move an adult deer carcass out of the permit area until a negative test result is received. 

The antlerless-only and youth deer hunts take place from Thursday, Oct. 19, to Sunday, Oct. 22, in several permit areas including permit area 603, southeastern Minnesota’s CWD management zone.

“The CWD management zone is included in these antlerless-only hunting opportunities as a way to reduce the deer population in the zone and limit the spread of CWD,” said Erik Hildebrand, CWD project coordinator.

All hunters in permit area 603 must have their deer tested for CWD and cannot move the carcass out of the permit area until a negative test result is received. Properly cut-up deer and boned-out meat can be taken out of the area provided no brain matter or spinal column material is attached.

Head collection boxes will be located in:

  • Chatfield: Magnum Sports, 1 1st St., 507-867-4399.
  • Preston: DNR area forestry office, 912 Houston St., 507-765-2740.
  • Lanesboro: DNR area fisheries office, 23789 Grosbeak Road, 507-467-2442.
  • Wykoff: Goodies and Gas, 104 E Front St., 507-352-2421.
  • Harmony: Oak Meadow Meats, 50 9th St., 507-886-6328.

Hunters should do the following:

  1. Field dress (gut) deer as normal.
  2. Register deer via phone, internet or walk-in big game registration station. If harvest occurs late in the day, sample (head) submission and registration do not have to occur on the same day.
  3. If the deer will be mounted, a video showing how to properly cape your deer is available at bitly.com/capeadeer.
  4. Remove the head, leaving at least 4 inches of neck attached.
  5. Hunters can take meat out of the zone immediately but the carcass (head with brain and spinal column) cannot be moved outside deer permit area 603 until a negative test result is received so hunters must:
  •  Make arrangements to refrigerate the carcass before the deer is processed.
  • Cut deer into quarters or other pieces; or
  • Bone-out the meat.
  1. Ensure no spinal column or brain matter is included with the meat or on the antlers.
  2. Properly dispose of carcass remains by keeping these away from scavengers until test negative results are received. There will be a dumpster at the DNR forestry office in Preston for hunters who don’t have a way to dispose of remains.
  3. The Preston dumpster is being provided as a courtesy for deer carcass disposal only. It will be removed if people attempt to process deer there or use the dumpster for trash disposal.
  4. Bring the entire head of the deer to one of five head box collection sites. Each collection box has specific instructions on how to properly submit the head for sampling.
  5. Put heads in the plastic bags provided. Use the maps provided at each box to mark an “X” where the deer was harvested. Submit this map with sample.
  6. Samples during the archery, youth deer and antlerless only seasons will be submitted for testing on Mondays and Thursdays. It may take up to four business days for test results to be available. CWD test results can be searched using a nine-digit MDNR number online at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.

Deer hunters should regularly check the DNR’s CWD webpage at mndnr.gov/cwd for the most recent information.

More information about youth and antlerless-only hunts can be found in the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook at mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.