The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Dr. Lou Cornicelli is Wildlife Research Manager for the DNR.

He will be on Thursday's (Nov. 2) AM Minnesota program to educate us about the latest developments regarding Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state and more specifically in southeastern Minnesota.

The firearms deer opener is this weekend and testing will be required in portions of north-central, central and southeastern Minnesota.

A 370 square mile disease management zone was established last December surrounding Preston in Fillmore County.  The only location where CWD is known to be found in wild deer.  The disease was detected in 11 wild deer last year.

The other locations have all been in game farm deer.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose and it is not known to effect humans.

A five county deer feeding ban was implemented last December in Fillmore, Mower, Houston, Olmsted and Winona Counties in southeastern Minnesota.

Mandatory testing takes place this Saturday and Sunday because most of the deer harvested in Minnesota are taken over the first weekend of the firearms deer season.

Hunters need to register their deer over the phone, on-line or in person and take it to one of 46 sampling stations open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. both days.

Half a million hunters are expected to participate in this year's deer harvest which begins a half hour before sunrise on Saturday, November 4.

The DNR says numbers are up and anticipates a harvest in the 200,000 range.

The 20 year average is 206,000.

Last year 173,213 deer were taken with 100,921 bucks.

By the way I did some checking and the number of deer hunting licenses sold last year was the lowest since before 1995 with 446,323 total licenses sold.

AM Minnesota begins 9:30 a.m.  If you can't listen then, go to and watch the program at a time more convenient for you.

It should be uploaded by mid-afternoon.

Deer Photo from My Basement. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld