No positives were found in Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) tests of 682 lymph node samples taken from wild deer harvested during the 2004 firearms season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The results are the first from 12,500 samples that were taken from wild deer harvested by hunters this year. Samples were collected at 130 big game registration stations located in the north-west, north-central, east-central and southwest portions of the state.

“We’re encouraged by the initial round of results and hopeful the remaining samples will be negative as well,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “Once again, we’re appreciative of the fact that hunters were glad to help us out. The process went very well.”

Samples tested were from deer harvested in permit areas 152, 170 and 225. Results are posted at

Additional permit areas will be posted online as they are completed.

The 2004 CWD effort involved more than 500 people from DNR, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Natural Resources, North Dakota State University, Minnesota Conservation Corps, Vermillion Community College, Fond du Lac and 1854 Authorities, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other Universities and volunteers. The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Minnesota is conducting all the tests.

Hunters who volunteered a sample this year received a DNR cooperator patch and were placed in a drawing to win one of several firearms and bows being offered by Gander Mountain, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Cabela’s, the Minnesota State Archery Association, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Austin-Halleck muzzleloaders.

This is the third and final year of DNR testing for CWD in Minnesota’s wild deer population. During the 2002 and 2003 deer hunting seasons, the DNR collected and tested 14,450 deer, none of which tested positive for CWD.

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