When archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 15, mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease and restrictions on moving deer carcasses will again be in place in southeastern Minnesota’s CWD management zone, deer permit area 603.
“Hunters in the CWD zone are encouraged to plan ahead so they know where to have a deer tested and what to do about processing that deer so they follow restrictions on moving a deer carcass out of the zone,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Archery hunters in deer permit area 603 will be required to submit the head from all adult deer one-year old or older so lymph nodes can be tested for CWD. Hunters cannot remove the carcass or carcass remains outside the CWD zone until a test result is reported as not detected. Hunters can check their test results online at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck by entering their nine-digit MDNR number into the search box.
Carcass movement restrictions allow hunters to immediately transport quarters or other meat without the head or spinal column parts; boned-out or cut and wrapped meat; and antlers with a skull plate that is free of brain matter. Hunters should check page 64 of the 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for additional information on carcass restrictions.
Archery deer hunters should check the deer permit area boundary map on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deermap.
“We remind hunters that the CWD management zone was created within permit areas 347 and 348, so hunters need to know what area they’re hunting,” Cornicelli said.
Hunters are required to register their deer. The DNR will allow phone, internet and walk-in registration during the archery season in the CWD zone. The system will be monitored for compliance and may be turned off if needed.
Mandatory testing and carcass movement restrictions will remain in effect for area 603 throughout deer seasons for archery, firearm, muzzleloader and any late-season hunts.
Hunters who take a deer they intend to mount should make arrangements with a taxidermist to cape the deer in the CWD zone or look online for videos on how to cape the deer. Alternatively, they can contact M&M Taxidermy in Chatfield at 507-696-8588.
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
Archery hunters should do the following:
- Field dress (gut) deer as normal.
- Register deer via phone, internet or a walk-in big game registration station within the DPA. If harvest occurs late in the day, head submission and registration can occur the next day.
- Remove the head, leaving at least 4 inches of neck attached.
- Bring the entire deer head to one of five head box collection sites. Each collection box has specific instructions on how to properly submit the head for sampling.
- Put heads in the plastic bags provided. Use the maps provided at each box to mark an “X” where the deer was harvested and include the hunters name and phone number. Submit this map with sample.
- Hunters can take meat out of the zone immediately; however, carcass remains cannot be moved outside deer permit area 603 until a not detected test result is received. Hunters should:
- Have a plan in place to get the deer processed while waiting for test results;
- Cut deer into quarters or other pieces; or
- Bone-out the meat and ensure no spinal column or brain matter is included with the meat or on the antlers.
- Properly dispose of carcass remains. There will be a dumpster at the DNR forestry office in Preston for hunters who don’t have a way to dispose of remains. 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.
Deer taken during the archery season will be submitted for testing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It may take up to four business days for test results to be available. The 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 website at mndnr.gov/cwd for the most recent information.