Deer hunters to combat chronic wasting disease

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The state Department of Natural Resources is issuing special hunting permits that allow landowners to shoot whitetail deer as part of a special harvest to test for chronic wasting disease, the fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose.

DNR officials have been contacting landowners in southeastern Minnesota, near the area where a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease last fall.

State officials are worried about the disease because even though it doesn’t pose risk to humans, CWD creates problems for wildlife managers. It could substantially reduce the and change the management of wild dear and elk populations and officials worry that the disease may erode hunters’ confidence and willingness to hunt in these areas.

Elizabeth Baier, who covers Southeast Minnesota for Minnesota Public Radio News, talks about the deer hunt to control CWD and other stories on her beat during Morning Edition with Cathy Wurzer.

Elizabeth also discusses a state effort to recruit volunteers to look out for Emerald Ash Borer and other destructive pests and a proposal by several school districts for a flexible school year that starts before Labor Day and ends early.

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