Feeding and attractant bans are in place across the state to prevent concentrations of wild deer in areas with a higher risk for disease. These bans are precautionary steps the DNR took after deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease were found both in the wild and on deer farms. Feeding bans encompass wider areas because food sources can concentrate deer and allow for close contact – one of the mechanisms for CWD spread.
Deer feeding includes: placement or distribution of salt, minerals, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay and other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer.
Deer attractants are: natural or manufactured products that are capable of attracting or enticing deer, including any product that contains or claims to contain cervid urine (example “doe in heat”), blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluid.
Starting Sept. 1, 2019, due to further discoveries of CWD, these bans will expand to include additional counties in north central and southeast Minnesota. More details are below.
People who feed birds or small mammals must do so in a manner that prevents deer access. Place the food at least six feet above ground level. Food placed as a result of normal agricultural practices is generally exempt from the feeding ban. Cattle operators should take steps that minimize contact between deer and cattle.
Current deer feeding and attractant bans
Map showing the three areas of Minnesota where deer feeding is not allowed as of Sept. 1, 2019. In effect starting Sept. 1, 2019
Deer feeding ban: affects the central counties listed below. Please note that attractants have not been banned in these counties and can be used.
Central counties: Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Stearns, Wright and the portion of Renville County north of U.S. Highway 212
Deer feeding and attractants ban: affects the southeast and north central counties listed below.
North central counties: Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena
Southeast counties: Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Wabasha and Winona