BEMIDJI, Minn. — Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials say a deer killed during the opening weekend of the firearms season, is suspected of having chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Authorities say the deer was harvested about 10 miles south of Bemidji in deer permit area 184.
It is the first suspected case in that area, according to the DNR news release.
Authorities say while early tests strongly suggest a CWD infection, it still needs to be confirmed.
The final test results are expected later this week.
“While disappointing, this find is not completely unexpected,” said wildlife section manager for the DNR, Kelly Straka, in the release. “We’re announcing this preliminary CWD positive result to encourage hunters in the Bemidji area to have their deer tested.”
Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder caused by cancer-like, abnormal proteins called prions that attack the brain.
First found in the 1960s in Colorado, it wasn’t until 2010 when Minnesota saw its first case in the wild.