Minnesota DNR to hold December deer hunt to battle chronic wasting disease

File photo of a white-tailed deer. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

After the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed another chronic wasting disease (CWD) case in November, it is expanding its special deer hunt to help battle the spread of the disease. 

The special hunt will take place Dec. 15-17 and permit areas open to the hunt are in southeast Minnesota. Hunters can find what specific areas are open here

The DNR expanded the CWD deer hunt to permit area 342, which is near Wabasha, after a case of the disease was confirmed in the area. 

This hunt has flexibility in what permits can be used for the hunt, the DNR says. Hunters can use unfilled archery, firearms, muzzleloader or landowner deer hunting license. Unfilled bonus permits and early antlerless permits can also be used. 

The DNR says the hunting method used must match the license.

Hunters can use unfilled disease management permits or purchase a disease management permit for $2.50, the DNR said. Hunters with this permit can hunt by archery, firearms or muzzleloader and hunters don’t need any additional licenses or permits. With this permit, hunters can tag both antlered and antlerless deer. 

The DNR says hunters are required to bring harvested deer to a sampling station. Stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., locations can be found here. Mail-in sampling kits are also available but have to be obtained before the hunt starts. Hunters have to mail in their kits within 72 hours of the harvest. To request a kit, click here

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer and moose. It may take over a year for an animal to develop symptoms, which include drastic weight loss, stumbling, listlessness and other neurologic symptoms. It is a fatal disease as there are no treatments or vaccines.