ST. PAUL, Minn. – A wild deer taken in Houston County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is calling this a “presumptive positive” and says official confirmation is still pending.
This is the first detection of CWD in Houston County since testing began in 2002 and was found outside the disease management zone established in Fillmore County.
“While disappointing, this discovery is not unexpected given the proximity of this deer permit area to areas where CWD has been found,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR. “We’ll work closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on our detections, so they can define their endemic areas.”
The buck was harvested 8.5 miles from a Winona County deer farm where a deer tested positive for CWD in 2017 and 9.5 miles from the Wisconsin border.
If the positive test is confirmed, the DNR says it will offer landowner shooting permits in the area around where the deer was harvested and continue to collect samples as opportunities arise through deer-vehicle collisions or archery harvest. The DNR also will consider special hunts in January or February, depending on results from additional samples.