Preston, MN (KROC-AM News) -  A special late season deer hunt and a five county ban on deer feeding are among the steps being taken by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in response to the discovery of two deer with Chronic Wasting Disease in Fillmore County.

The infected deer were shot by hunters in an area between Lanesboro and Preston near the start of this fall’s deer hunting season. The DNR’s focus will be within a 10 mile radius of Preston. The 370 square mile disease management zone is bordered roughly by Chatfield on the northwest, Arendahl on the northeast, Canton on the southeast and Bristol to the Southwest. The special deer hunt in that zone will run from December 31st through January 15th.  Officials say additional details will be released by the DNR at a later date.

“This 370 square mile disease management zone is the area of greatest concern,” said Dr. Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Landowners and hunters will help us conduct our primary control and sampling efforts here so we can act quickly, aggressively and cooperatively to limit and hopefully stop any spread of CWD.”

The deer feeding ban will be implemented later this month in Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Winona, and Olmsted Counties.

A public meeting on the CWD response plan will be held this Thursday evening at the Fillmore Central High School Auditorium beginning at 7 PM.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health. It was first discovered in Minnesota’s wild deer herd in 2010 when a deer shot by a hunter near Pine Island tested positive.