MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Half a million hunters are getting ready for deer hunting firearms opener this weekend. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to remind people to plan ahead with a checklist in mind.

First, buy a license and know the regulations. If you’re planning to use a meat processor, make contact ahead of time.

Test for Chronic Wasting Disease in designated areas. And be safe with using firearms and also preventing COVID-19.

Here is the full list of reminders from the DNR:

  1. Buy a license. It starts with deciding what deer permit area you will be hunting in; then buying the appropriate license.
  2. Know the regulations. Read up on the regulations for your deer permit area, including how to register deer and how harvested deer must be handled and transported in certain areas to help prevent the potential spread of disease.
  3. Know where your deer will be processed. If you plan to use a meat processor, contact them ahead of time to be sure they’re accepting whole deer from hunters this year. If you plan to butcher your own deer, you must properly dispose of the carcass (head and spinal column).
  4. Be safe. Practice the four tenets of firearms safety, know how to set up and use the tree stand safely, wear a safety harness and wear blaze clothing.
  5. Take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Follow precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including staying home if feeling sick, minimizing stops when traveling to deer camp, washing hands often, keeping a 6-foot distance, and wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and businesses and in other indoor or outdoor settings if you can’t maintain physical distance from those outside of your immediate household.
  6. Get deer tested if hunting in designated areas. Invest in the health of Minnesota’s wild deer by participating in CWD testing where it is provided. Find out if the DNR is conducting sampling in the area where you plan to hunt and find out how to submit a sample.
  7. Enjoy the hunt! Have fun, make memories and keep the tradition alive. Share deer camp and deer hunting photos directly with the DNR or on your social media accounts using the hashtag #DeerCampMN.
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