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Minnesota DNR reveals changes ahead of 2020 deer hunting season

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released a series of changes ahead of the 2020 firearms deer hunting season.

The upcoming season is being affected by the state’s ongoing battle with chronic wasting disease (CWD), which is fatal to deer, as well as challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of the contact issues created by COVID-19, the DNR says that sampling for CWD will be voluntary this year, with hunters submitting samples at “unstaffed” stations to allow for social distancing.

Those hunting in disease management zones, control zones, and surveillance area can drop off the head of a deer aged 1-year or older at these stations, and are encouraged to do so to help the DNR monitor the spread of CWD.

There are now seven management, control, or surveillance areas in Minnesota where sampling is encouraged, four of which are new this year after new cases of CWD were detected in wild or farmer deer.

They are as follows:

  • South-metro CWD management zone—created after detection of CWD in a wild deer in Dakota County. This zone is named deer permit area 605.
  • South-metro surveillance area—created after detection of CWD in a wild deer in Dakota County. The area is permit areas 292, 293, 338, 341 and 701.
  • East-central surveillance area—created after detection of CWD in a deer farm in Pine County. This area is portions of permit areas 157, 225, 235, 236 and all of permit area 159.
  • West-central surveillance area—created after detection of CWD in a deer farm in Douglas County. The area is permit areas 213 and 273.
  • North-central management zone – same as last year, covering permit area 604.
  • Southeast management zone – same as last year, covering permit areas 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649 and 655
  • Southeast control zone – same as last year, covering permit areas 255, 343 and 344).

There are also mandatory carcass movement restrictions in place in all management and control zones, which doesn’t allow for deer carcasses to be removed from the zones until a “not detected” test result for CWD is received.

“If hunters do not submit their deer for sampling, they must debone and quarter their deer, in order to transport their harvest,” the DNR says.

There are no carcass movement restrictions in place in surveillance areas.

“While sampling is voluntary, we want to underscore that our carcass movement restrictions remain mandatory in disease management zones,” says DNR wildlife health program supervisor Michelle Carstensen.

“This action is critical in keeping the disease from spreading farther in the state.”

The DNR in July expanded its ban on deer feeding and attractants to include Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Rice, Scott and Washington counties. You can find a full list of counties with feeding bans here.

Changes have been made to reflect COVID-19 and the ongoing threat of CWD in deer.

Minnesota Wolf Season Lottery Results Available Online

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Minnesota Wolf Season Lottery Results Available Online

Hunters and trappers who applied to participate in Minnesota’s first-ever wolf season can check lottery results online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf to see if they were successful in the drawing. They also can view a copy of the 2012 wolf season regulations handbook.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received more than 23,000 applications for the 6,000 available licenses.

Lottery winners, who also will receive notification and wolf hunting regulations via postal mail, now may purchase their licenses from DNR license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236.

Participants in the early season hunt, which coincides with firearms deer season, must purchase their wolf licenses by Wednesday, Oct. 24. Participants in the late hunting and trapping season, which runs from Saturday, Nov. 24, to Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, must buy their licenses by Thursday, Nov. 15.

Any licenses not sold by those dates will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to unsuccessful lottery applicants beginning at noon on Monday, Oct. 29, for the early season and at noon on Monday, Nov. 19, for the late hunting and trapping season.

Any remaining licenses not purchased by unsuccessful applicants will be available for purchase by any eligible hunter beginning at noon on Thursday, Nov. 1, for the early season and noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21, for the late hunting and trapping season.

Minnesota assumed state management of the gray wolf after the species was removed Jan. 27 from federal protection in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Minnesota’s wolf population is estimated to be about 3,000 wolves. The target harvest of 400 wolves for this inaugural wolf season is a conservative approach that does not pose a threat to the conservation of the population.

Minnesota Wolf Season Lottery Results Available Online Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Wolf Season Lottery Results Available Online Hunters and trappers who applied to ]]>