Hunters interested in another opportunity to get back out and hunt will have two more chances in Southeast Minnesota this year.

The Minnesota DNR announced two more special hunts in the response to Chronic Wasting Disease in wild deer taken in northern Houston County. The special hunt in deer permit area 346 in parts of Winona and Houston counties. The hunts, which are from Friday, January 25th to Sunday, January 27th and Friday, February 1st to Sunday, February 3rd, is open to residents and nonresidents. All deer harvested must be presented for CWD testing and sampling at one of the DNR staffed stations across Southeast Minnesota.

• Houston: BP Gas Station, 801 Highway 16.
• Rushford: Pam’s Corner Convenience, 107 Highway 16.
• Witoka: Witoka Tavern, 27999 County Road 9.
• Winona: Mills Fleet Farm, 920 E. Highway 61.
• La Crescent: Pump 4 Less (Mannings) Gas Station, 301 Kistler Drive.

The Minnesota DNR will staff the locations between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday and until noon on Mondays.

Hunters will be able to move the carcasses out of the permit area once they have brought the deer to the station so that the DNR can take a sample.

“Part of our coordinated effort to reduce risk includes responsibly managing carcass disposal,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager.

Centerfire rifles are not allowed and blaze orange is required. A limited number of special permits will be available on a first-come, first served basis starting at noon yesterday for Great River Bluffs State Park, which includes King’s and Queen’s Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area. There will not be a fee for these permits, and hunters will be able to obtain the permits online or wherever a hunting license is sold.

During the hunt, the DNR will close the state park except to permitted hunters during the designated special hunt times. Hunters must possess a hunting permit for the park, a disease management tag and a valid state park pass to hunt in Great River Bluffs State Park, and must comply with all other park regulations. It will be a regular firearms hunt inside park boundaries, with no crossbows allowed.

Private land does make up most of the area within the hunt area and hunters must have landowner permission to hunt that land. Public lands including the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will be open during the regular season are open during the special hunts. You can get more info on the rules and regulations, along with an interactive map HERE. 

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