2 more southern Minnesota deer test positive for chronic wasting disease
Minnesota DNR still wants more samples from deer shot in CWD zones.
A wild deer harvested in Dakota County on Nov. 7 and a vehicle-killed deer in Olmsted County on Nov. 4 were confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Thursday.
That makes a total of 95 wild deer in the state that have tested positive for CWD out of more than 90,000 samples taken since 2002.
The case of the Dakota County deer, an adult male, marks the first time the fatal neurological disease has been detected in a hunter-harvested wild deer in the newly established south metro disease management zone. The deer was harvested less than a mile from a CWD-positive wild deer discovered in March and was tested after the hunter provided the sample as part of the DNR’s voluntary sampling program.
The Olmsted County deer, an adult female, appeared to suffer injury from a vehicle before dying in Rochester. The resident who reported the dead deer brought the carcass to be sampled by DNR staff for CWD testing. While this is not the first wild deer to have the disease within Deer Permit Area 643, it is the farthest northwest that CWD has been found in the southeast disease management zone.
The DNR has notified the hunter and resident who submitted the deer for sampling of the positive test results, and the meat and carcasses from both deer have been properly disposed.
“It’s concerning to see these two positive test results. We will continue gathering data to see how prevalent the disease is in these areas, and maintain our aggressive management response,” Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program supervisor, said.
The DNR continues to collect samples from hunter-harvested deer in designated areas during all hunting seasons to help monitor the spread of the disease. Hunters in CWD management zones, control zones or surveillance areas are urged to drop off the head of deer 1 year of age or older at self-service sampling stations. Current sampling locations are listed at dnr.state.mn.us/cwd/index.html .
“We’re grateful to hunters and other Minnesotans for providing samples to test for this disease and help safeguard the health of our wild deer population,” Carstensen said. “These two positive test results are unfortunate, but highlight the importance of our sampling efforts in getting information that shows us how prevalent the disease is in an area. We urge hunters to continue bringing deer to sampling stations. Every sample counts.”