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DNR deer feeding ban expands to Aitkin County

A white-tailed deer in a garden.
Contributed
/
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
A white-tailed deer in a garden.

The ban, effective in eight Northern Minnesota counties and 24 counties total, is intended to reduce the spread of chronic wasting disease.

AITKIN — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources added Aitkin County to a deer feeding and attractant ban to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease spread.

The decision announced Monday, July 1, follows CWD detection in two more wild white-tailed deer near Grand Rapids last fall.

Counties
Contributed
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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Counties with a deer feeding and attractant ban as of July 2024.

The bans are intended to reduce unnatural gatherings of deer that could increase the risk of exposure for the animals.

According to the DNR, deer feeding includes the placement or distribution of food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer. Deer attractants are any natural or manufactured products that can attract or entice deer, such as salt, food scents, blood or other bodily fluids.

Feeding deer and using deer attractants is now banned in 24 Minnesota counties where disease surveillance efforts indicate a greater risk of CWD spread.

In Northern Minnesota, this includes Polk, Norman, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard and Itasca counties.

Even in counties where it is not banned, the DNR does not encourage the public to feed deer.

Instead, the agency said if you want to help deer, you should focus on improving their habitat to provide long-term food resources and shelter.