St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - It appears Chronic Wasting disease has spread into Houston County.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reporting that a preliminary test detected CWD in a wild deer harvested in Houston County on November 17th. If it is confirmed by laboratory testing, which is expected later this week, it would be the first detection of the deadly brain disorder in Houston County since the state's testing program began in 2002.

DNR wildlife research manager Lou Cornicelli described the discovery as disappointing but not unexpected. He notes the buck was harvested by a hunter about 8 1/2 miles from a deer farm in Winona County that produced a positive CWD result last year and is less than 10 miles from the border with western Wisconsin, where Chronic Wasting Disease is established in the wild deer herd.

Cornicelli says the DNR will likely offer landowner shooting permits in the area near where the deer was harvested and will consider opening special hunts in January or February in an effort to contain the spread of CWD. Special hunts during the final two weekends of this month were announced this week for the CWD management zone near Preston because 11 additional infected deer were discovered during this fall's firearm deer hunting season.

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