Are nasty pesticides that are linked to the demise of many pollinators like bees and butterflies also accumulating in deer? The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to test deer spleens to see if neonicotinoids are in them.

Neonicotinoid pesticides are insecticides applied through seed treatments, in foliar sprays, applied granularly to pastures and injected into trees.

Hunters can participate by sending the spleen from your harvested deer through a sampling kit that they will mail the week of Oct. 28. If you include a tooth with your sample, the DNR also will age your deer for free. After test results return, you will receive a letter with the age of your deer and the level of neonicotinoid exposure that was found.

For more information or to sign up for the study, contact Eric Michel, farmland deer project leader, at eric.michel@state.mn.us or 507-578-8918.