Minnesota Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Information

Understanding Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease is a prion disease affecting cervids, including deer, elk, and moose. It's characterized by progressive weight loss, behavioral changes, and neurological deterioration, leading to death. Notably, CWD is always fatal and currently incurable.

Impact in Minnesota

In Minnesota, CWD has been detected in both wild and farmed cervids. The state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has implemented monitoring and control measures to manage the disease's spread and impact.

Key Insights for Hunters and Conservationists

1. Symptom Awareness

  • Understand the physical and behavioral signs of CWD, which include drastic weight loss, stumbling, listlessness, and other neurological symptoms.
  • Note that cervids can spread the disease for years before symptoms appear.

2. CWD Zones in Minnesota

  • Recognize the designated CWD management and surveillance zones where enhanced regulations and monitoring are in place.
  • Stay updated with the Minnesota DNR for the latest on affected areas and regulations.

3. Mandatory Testing and Reporting

  • Comply with mandatory sample submission during specific hunting seasons within CWD zones.
  • Know the locations and operating hours of sampling stations, both staffed and self-service, for timely submission.

4. Carcass Movement Restrictions

  • Adhere to restrictions on moving deer carcasses out of CWD zones until receiving a "not detected" test result to prevent the spread of CWD.
  • Familiarize yourself with proper disposal methods for parts not used.

5. Effective Field Practices

  • Practice ethical hunting and safe carcass handling to minimize the risk of spreading CWD.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment when handling animals and carcasses.

6. Participation in Management Efforts

  • Engage with local wildlife offices, participate in voluntary testing outside mandatory periods, and stay informed on CWD developments.
  • Support community efforts and initiatives aimed at CWD management and research.

7. Educational Resources

  • Utilize resources provided by the Minnesota DNR and other reputable organizations to educate yourself and others about CWD.
  • Attend workshops, webinars, or hunter education programs focusing on disease awareness and safe hunting practices.

Moving Forward with CWD Management

The management of Chronic Wasting Disease is a collaborative effort between wildlife authorities, hunters, and the community. By staying informed, complying with regulations, and participating in management and surveillance activities, individuals can play a crucial role in understanding and mitigating the impact of CWD. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, always refer to the Minnesota DNR's official communications and guidelines.

Sign Up for Huntlink!

Huntlink is a free program that will allow us to send you state regulations to your email for the states you hunt in. The benefits of this are:

1. PDF Format - Downloadable

2. Able to be read with or without reception

3. Delivered right to your email with no ads

And much more!


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.