Feeding and attractant bans are in place across the state to prevent concentrations of wild deer in areas with a higher risk for disease. These bans are precautionary steps the DNR took after CWD-positive deer were found both in the wild and on deer farms.
Feeding bans encompass wider areas because food sources can concentrate deer and allow for close contact — one of the mechanisms for CWD spread.
• Deer feeding includes: placement or distribution of salt, minerals, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay and other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer.
• Deer attractants are: natural or manufactured products that are capable of attracting or enticing deer, including any product that contains or claims to contain cervid urine (example “doe in heat”), blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluid.
Deer feeding is prohibited in areas where chronic wasting disease was detected in farmed deer. This includes Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Stearns, Wright and the portion of Renville County north of U.S. Highway 212.
In addition to deer feeding, deer attractants are prohibited in counties within proximity to where wild deer have been found positive for CWD. This includes Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Hubbard, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Todd, Wadena and Winona counties.
People who feed birds or small mammals must do so in a manner that prevents deer access. Place the food at least six feet above ground level. Food placed as a result of normal agricultural practices is generally exempt from the feeding ban. Cattle operators should take steps that minimize contact between deer and cattle.