To encourage hunters to bring their deer in to Department of Natural Resources (DNR) chronic wasting disease (CWD) sites, the DNR along with several organizations and businesses are offering prizes through a drawing. All hunters, in select permit areas, who turn in a sample will receive a cooperator patch and be automatically entered in a drawing to win one of several firearms and bows that are being provided as an incentive from the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Gander Mountain, Bluffland Whitetails Association, Austin-Halleck, and the Minnesota Sport Archery Association.

CWD was on every hunter’s mind during the 2002 deer season when the DNR identified a case in a captive elk. And, while there has not been a documented case in the wild in Minnesota, the DNR is continuing the deer sampling again this year.

Hunters in select permit areas are asked to submit deer for CWD testing during the upcoming firearms deer season (DNR staff will remove the deer’s head at the registration site). Statewide, the DNR is looking to collect at least 13,000 samples. Northeastern Minnesota will have 22 sampling locations covering seven permit areas in four counties.

Counties and permit areas *Cook County – all permit areas (116, 126, 127) *Lake County – all permit areas (115, 116, 122, 127, 180) *St. Louis County – four permit areas (115, 122, 178, 180) *Itasca County – one permit area (178)

Collection dates and hours (additional days if necessary) *Sat., Nov. 8 12 noon to 10 p.m. *Sun., Nov. 9 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. *Mon., Nov. 10 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Sampling locations in Northeast Minnesota (alphabetical by county):

  • Buck’s Hardware Hank at Grand Marais, (Cook County)

  • Lockport Store at Lutsen, (Cook Co.)

  • Fred’s at Goodland, (Itasca Co.)

  • Beaver Bay Sports at Beaver Bay, (Lake Co.)

  • Conoco Little Store at Two Harbors, (Lake Co.)

  • Wildhurst Lodge at Finland, (Lake Co.)

  • Blomberg’s at Babbitt (St. Louis Co.)

  • Charlstroms at Duluth (St. Louis Co.)

  • Cook Country Store at Cook (St. Louis Co.)

  • Crossroads Store at Eveleth (St. Louis Co.)

  • Gateway Store at Kabetogama (St. Louis Co.)

  • Hugos at Brimson (St. Louis Co.)

  • ICO at Cotton (St. Louis Co.)

  • Lucky 7 at Virginia (St. Louis Co.)

  • Lucky 7 at Hoyt Lakes (St. Louis Co.)

  • Lucky 7 at Ely (St. Louis Co.)

  • Meadowlands COOP at Meadowlands (St. Louis Co.)

  • Mooseline Cafe at Fairbanks (St. Louis Co.)

  • Pelican Bay IGA at Orr (St. Louis Co.)

  • Vermilion Fuel and Food at Tower (St. Louis Co.)

  • Vermilion River Tavern at Buyck (St. Louis Co.)

  • J&T General Store at Makinen (St. Louis Co.)

Hunters who harvest deer outside of the permit areas where DNR is collecting samples will be able to get their deer tested through local veterinarians. Those vets that will do testing are listed on the DNR web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Even though CWD has not been found in wild deer in Minnesota, hunters should take the following precautions:

  • Do not shoot an animal that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick. Contact the local DNR conservation officer or DNR wildlife office immediately.

  • Wear durable rubber gloves when field dressing carcasses. Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing.

  • Bone out the meat from the animal. Don’t saw through bone and avoid cutting through the brain or backbone.

  • Do not eat brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils or lymph nodes. The normal process of boning meat will remove most, if not all of these tissues.

DNR reminds hunters that they must present the deer at the time of registration to legally comply with the registration requirements.

For more information, contact: Jeff Lightfoot, Regional Wildlife Manager, Grand Rapids, 218-327-4413 or your local wildllife office.