Minnesota CWD Special Hunt Details Released

Here are the additional details released for the CWD special hunt in deer permit area 346.

Starting Jan. 15, permits for the special hunt on public Minnesota land will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to participate in a 6-day, multiple weekend deer season prompted by the discovery of chronic wasting disease in a wild whitetail deer harvested last year.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said that hunters interested in this extension of the winter deer hunting season will have from Friday, Jan. 25, to Sunday, Jan. 27, and Friday, Feb. 1, to Sunday, Feb. 3, too hunt in area 346. The public hunting land is located in parts of Winona County and Houston County, found in the southeastern Minnesota near the Wisconsin border to the east and Iowa to the south.

Both residents and nonresidents are eligible to purchase the permits. Any deer harvested, including fawns, will need to be subjected to CWD sampling at one of five DNR-staffed stations.

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DNR officials will be at the registration locations between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and until noon on Mondays.

Once hunters bring a deer to a station so that DNR staff can take a sample, they're allowed to move carcasses out of the permit area. However, hunters are asked by the DNR to leave the carcass in a place where it can be recovered or dispose of the remains in household trash.

"Part of our coordinated effort to reduce risk includes responsibly managing carcass disposal," said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager, in the official Minnesota DNR press release.

Consistent with hunting rules in the region, centerfire rifles are not allowed and blaze orange is required.

In addition, there are a limited number of special permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 15, for Great River Bluffs State Park, which includes King's and Queen's Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area. These permits have no fees, and hunters can obtain the permits online or other physical hunting license sale locations.

During the hunt, the state park will be closed to anyone other than permitted hunters during the designated special hunt times. You'll need a hunting permit for the park, a disease management tag, and a valid state park pass for this hunt in Great River Bluffs State Park, and it will be a regular firearms hunt inside the park, with no crossbows allowed.

You can learn more about the hunt, including rules and considerations, station locations for sampling, a map of the hunt area, and information about the DNR's efforts to keep Minnesota wild deer herds healthy on the DNR's website at mndnr.gov/cwd.