Deer are being removed from two core areas near Preston where a total of 11 deer have tested positive for CWD.
Sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's wildlife services are removing deer from properties where landowners have given them access. Wildlife services employees do no enter land or remove deer without express, written permission of the landowner.
CWD test results on all deer removed or discovered dead in the disease management zone are updated as they become available.
Deer removed are sampled and the carcasses stored in a refrigerated trailer. All carcasses that test negative are released for human consumption – either back to the landowner or to people who have submitted their name to a vension donation list.
Ten of the 11 deer with CWD were taken in a close cluster. The other was harvested 5 miles north of that cluster during the 2016 firearms deer season.
A ban prohibiting the feeding of wild deer in a five-county area that includes all of Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted and Winona counties is in effect as part of the DNR's comprehensive long-term disease management strategy.
The purpose of the ban is to reduce the potential for the disease to spread from deer-to-deer by reducing the number of deer concentration sites. CWD can spread from one deer to another following nose-to-nose contact, contact with saliva or other body fluids. By eliminating deer feeding sites where that easily can occur, the potential for the disease to spread is reduced.
The deer feeding ban makes it illegal to place or have food capable of attracting wild deer. This includes salt/mineral blocks and deer attractants. People who feed birds or small mammals must do so in a manner that precludes access to deer or place the food at least 6 feet above ground level.
People who enjoy feeding wildlife and chose to continue feeding must place the feed so deer can?t access it.
Food placed as a result of normal agricultural practices is generally exempted from this rule. But cattle operators should take steps that minimize contact between deer and cattle.
The DNR continues to implement the state's CWD response plan. DNR will be working closely with landowners and other organizations – as well as hunters – to develop and implement disease management strategies that will protect the state's deer herd and provide hunters the opportunity to pass on their deer hunting traditions.