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Hunters kill 420 deer in chronic wasting disease cull

Hunters shot and killed about 420 deer in southeastern Minnesota in a special late-season hunt as part of the state's fight against chronic wasting disease.

Posted: Dec 26, 2018 3:03 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Hunters shot and killed about 420 deer in southeastern Minnesota in a special late-season hunt as part of the state's fight against chronic wasting disease.

The deer hunt last weekend in and around Fillmore County is part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' plan to slow the spread of the fatal neurological disease among wild deer, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. Another special hunt will be held in the same area this weekend to remove infected deer and lower the frequency of contact between the animals.

Deer killed in the two special hunts will be tested for chronic wasting disease, which fatally attacks the animal's nervous system. CWD is transmissible through deer-to-deer contact, and it also affects elk and moose.

Minnesota first detected deer with the disease in Fillmore County two years ago, but the infected animals were isolated to a several-mile radius around the small town of Preston. Since then, CWD has spread outside the outbreak's original boundaries.

At least 10 new CWD cases have been detected in Minnesota's wild deer herds this fall, some of which were shot beyond the infected zone.

"This year we (saw) another one at Forestville," said Lou Cornicelli, a wildlife research manager for the state's Natural Resources Department. "Another west of Harmony. Another west of Chatfield. So now we're starting to see that spread."

Cornicelli said the department released a new management plan days after discovering the cases, which calls for the two special hunts and opening bag limits so hunters can take as many deer as possible. The department is also contracting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to bring in professional hunters to cull deer in the most infected areas.

Federal culling will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's expensive," Cornicelli said. "But it's very effective."

___

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 587762

Reported Deaths: 7324
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Hennepin1217771724
Ramsey50848870
Dakota45493446
Anoka41276436
Washington26615280
Stearns22077221
St. Louis17637302
Scott17137124
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Sherburne1157185
Carver1041645
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Rice7991106
Blue Earth744441
Crow Wing658688
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Otter Tail571778
Benton563697
Goodhue474972
Mower463732
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Winona451850
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McLeod420258
Morrison416260
Isanti415364
Nobles407148
Beltrami391058
Steele383915
Polk382268
Becker377950
Lyon359250
Carlton343553
Freeborn340729
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Nicollet322743
Brown304040
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Todd280432
Cass269028
Meeker253740
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Martin229731
Roseau207519
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Marshall87817
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Grant5678
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Cases: 365723

Reported Deaths: 5925
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Scott19903240
Black Hawk15777308
Woodbury15105228
Johnson1444083
Dubuque13347209
Dallas1114698
Pottawattamie11082168
Story1058248
Warren575088
Clinton552792
Cerro Gordo537889
Sioux513474
Webster511493
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Buena Vista424240
Jasper417771
Plymouth400480
Lee374255
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Jones297357
Henry290837
Carroll285152
Bremer283360
Crawford265840
Boone263334
Benton255455
Washington253650
Dickinson247843
Mahaska229551
Jackson221142
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Clay215125
Tama209171
Delaware208740
Winneshiek196834
Page192622
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Wright184236
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Madison161419
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Poweshiek154733
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Iowa148224
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Grundy136233
Emmet134140
Jefferson132335
Shelby130537
Sac130119
Union128133
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Louisa127849
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Franklin118121
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