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Winona County board approves culling of deer to control disease

Winona County board approves culling of deer to control disease

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Culling of deer to prevent the spreading of chronic wasting disease will start on Winona County owned land soon, after the county board approved a request from Tuesday the Department of Natural Resources.

The culling will end March 31.

After DNR examined the efforts different states have taken to deal with CWD, the department determined culling will help prevent the spreading of disease and prevent an extreme decrease in deer populations.

Todd Froberg, DNR landowner assistance specialist, also noted if the cases of CWD increase rapidly, there is a possibility it may transfer species and possibly affect cattle. He said this has not yet happened, though.

Employees with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wildlife Services will shoot the deer. The DNR will then test them for CWD.

The board discussed the possibility of public hunters being allowed to kill the deers for them to be tested, but this is not currently the plan.

Family groups, especially doe, will be targeted most during the culling.

Froberg said the goal would be 20 to 25% of the population of deer in the area.

Maps have been created to keep track of what locations should be focused on most, based on where CWD has been identified in the past.

All deer that do not test positive for CWD will then be processed by a local butcher into meat that can be donated to the public.

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