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Minnesota Deer Notes

Jan. 21, 2020

In this month’s issue: get involved with deer management by sharing your thoughts on deer populations through our online survey or at goal-setting workshops; find a recap of the season’s chronic wasting disease test results, and read an update on the recent pesticide exposure study.


We'd like to hear from you survey graphic

Share your deer observations

Whether you went deer hunting, experienced deer damage or have other thoughts about deer-related issues, we want to hear from you! Provide input on deer populations and observations from 2019 using our online survey, open today through Feb. 16.


Map of 2020 goal-setting blocks and workshop locations

Help set deer population goals

This week, the first round of goal-setting workshops begin for deer population goal-setting! This year focuses on deer permit areas in the northwestern and western parts of the state. Join us to share your ideas about how to manage deer populations in these areas.

The DNR is using a new workshop format to integrate small group discussions to both scope issues and create recommendations. The first workshop focuses on ideas: learn about deer issues and discuss your deer population concerns in that area. In the second workshop, work with others to create specific population goal recommendations based on information from the first workshop. (If possible, attend both workshops in your block of interest.) RSVPs are highly encouraged.

To find out more about the goal-setting process – including the complete details on the dates and locations of the workshops – check out the goal-setting webpage.


Pesticide exposure study update

Thank you to all who participated in the deer neonicotinoid study this fall. Hunters returned 790 spleen samples for a pilot study that will screen hunter-harvested deer for the presence of a pesticide called a neonicotinoid. We are currently processing all samples and are on track to ship them to the lab for analysis by the end of January. After results from the lab are received and analyzed, likely by mid-September, we will send a summary report to all project participants. Individuals who provided a viable sample will receive results specific to their deer with that report.


Screenshot of digital map of CWD positives in Minnesota

CWD test results wrap-up

Chronic wasting disease test results from deer harvested in the 2019 hunting season and the special hunts have returned. Twenty-seven wild deer tested positive for CWD, all from the southeast disease management zone, which remains the largest area of concern for the disease in our wild deer. Since 2010, a total of 79 wild deer have tested positive for CWD in the state.

In the central surveillance area, out of 536 samples, no wild deer tested positive for CWD. Because this was the third consecutive year of testing without CWD detection, there will be no more surveillance efforts in this area for the 2020 hunting season.

In the north central disease management zone, 3,965 wild deer were tested and no positives were detected. The management zone, DPA 604, will remain in place for at least two more years as part of our CWD response plan.

Find more details about CWD testing results, including details on each of the positives, at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.

Thank you to all hunters for your compliance and patience – your efforts are critical in helping us see where disease is most prevalent and for keeping our wild deer healthy in the long-term.

Get complete CWD information

Deer hunters, please regularly check the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd for the most recent information.

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