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Minnesota DNR Acts to Control CWD Spread with Selective Culling of Wild Deer in Grand Rapids

Decorative image of a young spotted deer looking cautiously through the underbrush
Cis Picarich Ramsdell via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch Facebook page
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Minnesota DNR and USDA crews killed 51 deer during their selective culling response to CWD being found in a wild deer in Grand Rapids, MN.

In March this year, a wild deer was found within the Grand Rapids city limits that tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that impacts the brain of deer. Last week, the Minnesota DNR and local USDA crews took steps to reduce the potential spread of CWD by selectively culling deer within the southwest quadrant of Grand Rapids city limits. To learn more about the steps taken to minimize the impacts of CWD in the region, Heidi Holtan and Kari Hedlund spoke with Dr. Lindsey Shartell, acting northeast region manager of the division of fish and wildlife for the Minnesota DNR.

According to Dr. Shartell, the herd cull was successful with 51 deer being killed as of April 7th. The two primary methods that were used for the deer kill were trapping and sharpshooting and the first batch of tests that came back from this group all tested negative for CWD. The deer kill wrapped up at the end of the week last week.

Moving forward, Dr. Shartell is encouraging people to take part in monitoring for CWD in the deer around their area. “We do encourage anyone to report abnormally acting or sick deer to their local wildlife office. And we also ask that if anyone salvages roadkill that they call in to the Grand Rapids wildlife office,” Dr. Shartell said. “We also encourage people to stop feeding deer on their property. Feeding deer is a main source of the spread of CWD when they congregate around a food pile. There are city and county ordinances against feeding deer.”

Click the player at the top of the page to learn more about the Grand Rapids deer kill and how CWD will impact the forthcoming deer season.

Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 20 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota.
Kari (CAR-ee) is originally from South Dakota … a state often referred to as the land of infinite variety. As Music Director at Northern Community Radio, Kari has taken that theme to heart with her ability to feed a community of listeners hungry for an infinite variety of music and ideas. Along with her trademark lipstick and husky voice … Kari also raises a family … and Baguettes when time permits
Max Philbrook (he/him) is a Producer at KAXE focused on telling the stories of the people, events, and organizations that make up the fabric of northern Minnesota. Based out of Grand Rapids, Max spends his time reading fiction at the library, seeing sports and live music, and supporting the arts and cultural events in the area. Get in touch with Max if you have a story to tell, an event to publicize, or just want to chat about life in the northland.