St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - State officials say testing for Chronic Wasting Disease will be mandatory for hunters on the opening weekend of the firearm deer season in southeastern, central and north-central Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the mandatory sampling requirements mean that after field dressing their deer, all hunters in affected permit areas need to take them to a sampling station.

The DNR officials say the additional testing in north-central and central Minnesota is needed to determine if CWD has spread to wild deer from captive deer in those regions. Officials say hunters in southeastern Minnesota will be required to have their deer tested opening weekend as well the weekend of November 17 and 18 as part of the ongoing surveillance program aimed at determining Chronic Wasting Disease has spread from the area around Preston where 18 CWD cases have been identified.

Carcass movement restrictions remain in place for the Preston disease management zone, known as area 603. The DNR says deer cannot be removed from the area until test results confirm the animal was not afflicted by CWD. Three sampling stations will be staffed in that area. The DNR says they will be located at Forestville State Park, Strongwell in Chatfield, or Preston.

Hunters should check mndnr.gov/cwd to find the permit areas where sampling is required.