Undated (Learfield News Service) - Nearly a half-million hunters are expected to take part in Minnesota's opening weekend of the state's firearms deer season.

All deer taken in parts of southeastern Minnesota, Crow Wing and Meeker counties must be taken to one of 31 sites for chronic wasting disease testing.

The Minnesota DNR says testing since the start of the archery season detected only a few cases of CWD, but a spokeswoman says "we need to get through the firearm opener to really have a good sense of a larger surveillance effort." She says a lot more deer will be tested and "we'll see where we're at once those results come back."

The Governor's Deer Hunting Opener is in the Fergus Falls area.