When archery deer season opens on Saturday, September 16, mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease and restrictions on moving deer carcasses begins again in southeastern Minnesota’s CWD management zone, deer permit area 603.
“With archery deer season approaching, hunters are encouraged to plan ahead and be aware of the testing that will be required and the specifics about when they can and can’t move carcasses out of the CWD zone,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Archery hunters in deer permit area (DPA) 603 will be required to submit the head from all adult deer 1 year old or older so lymph nodes can be tested for CWD. Hunters cannot remove the carcass or carcass remains from the CWD zone until a negative test result is reported.
Carcass movement restrictions do allow hunters to immediately transport out of the zone quarters or other deer pieces without spinal column parts; boned-out meat; and antlers with a skull plate that is free of brain matter. Hunters should check page 65 of the 2017 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for additional information.
“Archery deer hunters also should check the DNR website for the DPA boundary map,” Cornicelli said. “As a reminder, the CWD management zone was created from DPAs 347 and 348, so hunters need to be mindful of what area they’re hunting.”
Hunters are required to register their deer. DNR will allow phone and Internet 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.
Head collection box locations
• Chatfield: Magnum Sports, 1 First Street, 507-867-4399.
• Preston: DNR area forestry office, 912 Houston Street, 507-765-2740.
• Lanesboro: DNR area fisheries office, 23789 Grosbeak Road, 507-467-2442.
• Wykoff: Goodies and Gas, 104 East Front Street, 507-352-2421.
• Harmony: Oak Meadow Meats, 50 Ninth Street, 507-886-6328
Archery 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 four 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.
6. Ensure no spinal column or brain matter is included with the meat or on the antlers.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Bring the entire head of deer to one of five head box collection sites. Each collection box has specific instructions on how to properly submit the head for sampling.
10. 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.
11. Samples during the archery season 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 www.mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.
Deer hunters should regularly check the DNR’s CWD website at mndnr.gov/cwd for the most recent information.