MN DNR CWD-Tested Culled Deer

Posted by MNAngler On March - 27 - 2011

[This post contains several place holder images that hide images of dead deer. Please do not click on the place holders below if you do not want to see them.]

Back in early February, I happened to notice some tweets by Jim Braaten giving information on the MN DNR’s effort to test deer in Southeastern Minnesota because one in the area was found to have chronic wasting disease (CWD). To test the deer, they would have to cull the heard and test the deer that were killed. A total of 900 would be tested.

One of Jim’s tweets mentioned that anyone in the general public could request to obtain a culled deer for venison. Any and all deer testing negative would be given away for free.

That was supremely good news for me as my family loves venison, but I don’t hunt. A colleague from work shot a deer for me 4 years ago, but hasn’t been able to get one for me since.

I put my name on the DNR’s mailing list and got a call from them earlier this week. Saturday morning, I made my way to Rochester, MN to pick up my deer.

The DNR guy said I should put a tarp down in my car because the deer would be bloody. I put the back seats down in my Subaru Forester and covered it with one of my large tarps. As I was getting the tarp down, I felt like I was preparing for a job for Don Corleone.

The one hour drive went pretty quickly. I got to the designated address and saw a bunch of trucks in the parking lot, but the door to the building was locked and I couldn’t see anyone inside. There was a USDA trailer and several DNR trucks in the lot, so I knew I was in the right place. It took me a while before I noticed a second door that was unlocked.


Inside, there were about 6 gentleman sitting around chatting. A lady was at a desk to check people in. I gave her my name and she found me on her list. Two of the men disappeared into another room and the lady told me to wait at the garage door outside.

Several minutes later, the garage door opened and I saw my deer laying in a sled. It was much more bloodied than I expected and the blood wasn’t very dried. It had to have been dead for at least three days, though, because the DNR guy I spoke to earlier in the week said it takes three days for the CWD tests to come back.

Meat Locker

I asked one of the guys if they have the deer hanging up in the back and he said the deer were all hanging in a semi-truck trailer parked behind a big warehouse like room with a loading dock so they could just walk into it. I asked to see it and he was gracious enough to let me. The trailer had about 30 deer hanging by the neck waiting to be picked up. All were tagged for tracking purposes.

Given that the DNR was testing for CWD, I didn’t expect to see the head still attached to the deer, but they were. I noticed, however, that there was a large hole in the neck. Looking back, I should have asked one of the guys there about the whole process, but in looking at the wound later, it appears they just took out the brain.

Deer in the car


Missing Deer Brain

I got my deer into my Forester and drove back to the Twin Cities where I dropped off the carcass at a local butcher shop. I should have my chops, steaks, and ground venison later this week. I can’t wait!

2 Responses to “MN DNR CWD-Tested Culled Deer”

  1. kmurray says:

    That’s great that you finally got some venison!

    I also think it’s an awesome plan your states has going there because that’s a productive way to both test deer AND feed people! Well done MN!

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