Hunters who harvest deer in north-central and southeast Minnesota during firearms deer season will have 26 dumpsters available in a variety of locations to dispose of carcasses after completing deer registration, chronic wasting disease sampling and removing the meat.
“These dumpsters will be in place in time for the hunting opener, and they’re an important part of the plan to combat CWD by helping hunters comply with carcass movement restrictions in CWD zones,” said Bryan Lueth, DNR habitat program manager.
Hunters in three zones – the north-central CWD management zone, the southeast CWD management zone and the southeast CWD control zone – must register their deer, complete required CWD sampling, and comply with carcass movement restrictions by keeping whole deer carcasses within the zone until receiving “not detected” test results for their deer. The DNR is providing dumpsters to enable hunters to quarter their deer and dispose of the carcass in a designated dumpster.
Locations of the dumpsters are posted on the DNR website — dnr.state.mn.us — for the north-central management zone, southeast management zone and southeast control zone. Hunters can check online to determine whether a disposal location has a quartering station. The DNR encourages hunters to use the dumpsters to comply with carcass movement restrictions and limit possible disease spread.
“Before you hunt, plan ahead so that after you have your deer sampled for CWD, you have what you need to properly quarter your deer and take meat out of the zone. Also consider if you want taxidermy work done. We tell hunters to plan as if you are going to shoot the biggest buck of your life,” Lueth said.
Minnesota’s firearms deer season begins Saturday. Having carcass disposal locations available to hunters aids in the DNR’s three-pronged approach to limit the spread of CWD in areas where the disease has been found in wild deer. The DNR aims to reduce deer densities; ban people from feeding deer in some areas to reduce this human-facilitated contact between deer; and restrict deer carcass movements.
CWD is relatively rare in Minnesota, and this is the first year the DNR has worked with waste haulers to provide dumpsters for hunters to use. Organizations and individuals are also contributing funding for the effort. So far, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Bluffland Whitetails Association, Crow Wing County and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association have participated in the DNR’s Adopt-A-Dumpster program.
“Thank you to organizations and individuals who’ve helped sponsor carcass disposal locations. Now, heading into the deer opener, we have nearly all the locations available for hunters that we originally planned,” Lueth said.
Keeping Minnesota’s wild deer population healthy remains the goal in the DNR’s response to chronic wasting disease. Since CWD was first detected in Minnesota in 2002, the DNR has tested more than 72,000 wild deer in the state. To date, 54 wild deer have tested positive for CWD in Minnesota.
CWD affects the cervid family, which includes deer, elk and moose. It is spread through direct contact with an infected cervid’s saliva, urine, blood, feces, antler velvet or carcass. There is no vaccine or treatment for this disease.
For more information on chronic wasting disease, including maps of CWD surveillance areas, frequently asked questions, hunter information, lists of meat processors and taxidermists, and for location of dumpsters, visit mndnr.gov/cwd.