St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has scheduled two more late-season deer hunts in southeastern Minnesota as part of the agency's response to the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in the region. The special hunting seasons will take place from January 25th through January 27th and the weekend of February 1st through February 3rd in deer permit area 346 in Houston County.

The hunts were organized after a wild deer harvested last fall in Houston County tested positive for the deadly brain disorder. The DNR will be collecting tissue samples from deer shot during the special hunts to help determine if CWD has spread in the wild deer herd or if the deer shot during the regular hunting season was an outlier.

“Gathering samples from this larger range will give us a better idea of whether additional wild deer in the area have been infected with CWD,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager.

A statement from the Department of Natural Resources says the special hunt boundary includes the area where the CWD positive wild deer was shot in Houston County and a site in Winona County where a farmed deer tested positive for the ailment in December 2017.