To coincide with deer firearm season, the Crow Wing County Landfill will be open for disposal of deer carcasses only during upcoming weekends in November.

The landfill will be open for this purpose 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 7-8, Nov. 14-15, and Nov. 21-22.

County officials are encouraging residents to bring deer carcasses to the landfill for disposal, free of charge. The disposal site is an effort by the county to lessen the potential spread of chronic wasting disease among the deer population.

“Deer carcasses may be incinerated or placed in strategic locations within the landfill to minimize disposal risk, so it is very important that carcasses are brought in separately from other garbage,” environmental services supervisor Ryan Simonson stated in a news release.

The neurological disease CWD affects the cervid family — deer, elk, moose, reindeer and caribou — and causes degeneration in the brain of an infected animal, which culminates in its death.

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“The more carcasses that are brought into the landfill and disposed of in a responsible manner, the less likely that CWD (chronic wasting disease) is further spread across the landscape,” Simonson stated.

The disease is spread when a cervid comes into contact with defective proteins from an infected animal, which are spread on the landscape through deposits of saliva or other bodily fluids, and the proteins are known to survive in the soil for several years and can infect another cervid.