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

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Decorative image of a young spotted deer looking cautiously through the underbrush
Cis Picarich Ramsdell via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch Facebook page
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.

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Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.
The music director at KAXE since 2014, Kari (pronounced Car-ee) Hedlund reviews music on the daily. She also hosts New Music every Wednesday (2 and 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon), along with the KAXE Morning Show on Thursdays.
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