Walz takes to field for deer opener; visits CWD testing site

Published 4:53 pm Saturday, November 6, 2021

PINE CITY — Gov. Tim Walz was among the thousands of hunters who took to the field Saturday for Minnesota’s firearms deer hunting season opener.

Walz hunted with Brady Crocker and Kevin Hinze on the Hinze family’s private property in Pine County. The family permanently protected the land by donating a conservation easement to the Minnesota Land Trust. They didn’t get a deer, but the opener was marked by beautiful, warmer-than-usual weather across most of Minnesota.

Following the hunt, Walz visited a chronic wasting disease sampling site in Pine City, joined by Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen and Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen.

They went to highlight the importance of sampling to detect the brain disease, which is always fatal in deer. During opening weekend, people hunting in CWD surveillance, control, or management zones must bring their harvested deer to sampling stations to be tested. Voluntary sampling is available after the opening weekend for deer harvested within a CWD zone.

“I ask all Minnesota deer hunters to be aware of CWD regulations and use one of the state’s sampling sites if hunting in a mandatory or voluntary sampling area,” Walz said in a statement.

The Department of Natural Resources expected about 400,000 hunters to participate in the firearms deer opener.