Minnesota DNR to start deer movement study to help against CWD - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minnesota DNR to start deer movement study to help against CWD

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NEAR PRESTON, Minn. (KTTC) -

Chronic Wasting Disease is still making its rounds in southeast Minnesota, with 6 cases popping up during the most recent season.

That's why researchers are beginning a new study, with help from a helicopter.

"They'll use a net launcher, a net gun to get down close and capture an animal, fit a GPS collar around its neck, take basic measurements, take some blood for some disease screening," Chris Jennelle, a DNR research scientist, said.

Researchers hope to tag 115 deer starting March 12, in the area known as Deer Permit Area 603, around Preston.

The process will take anywhere between a week or two to get all the GPS collars on the deer.

"With this information we can get a better idea of how CWD may radiate out from the central core areas in the management zone," Jennelle said.

For best results, the hope is to get the movement data on 90 juvenile deer and 25 adult bucks from April through July.

This is the prime time that the deer migrate away from their birth areas.

"We're capturing that period perfectly and we expect all of our animals to be surviving during that period which will capture all that data that we need," Jennelle said.

The project is getting $450,000 dollars from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for the collars. 

After the 115 deer this year, researchers are hoping to capture 60 deer next year.

All of this data will help create models and better fight the spread of CWD.

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