The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it will be reviewing its procedures after a hunter made a discovery along a public trail in Rochester.
On December 30, Michael Wondrow was pheasant hunting on Gordon Yeager State Wildlife Management Area. This is an area that is open to public hunting.
Wondrow says during his hunt he stumbled upon dozens of deer carcasses near a trail in the Wildlife Management Area.
“I thought it was a pheasant hunt and it turned into a horror movie, a bunch of deer sitting there,” said Wondrow.
Wondrow took a video of what he saw. He shared his video with Minnesota Hunting Club where it’s now been shared nearly 11,000 times on Facebook.
“I’m getting at least a hundred messages a day. I’ve got a message from a lady in Australia, Russia,” said Wondrow.
Wondrow says he immediately called the DNR but says he never heard back. He then reached out to ABC 6 News for some answers.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Communications Director Chris Niskanen says the DNR has been disposing deer “that are not fit for human consumption” at this particular site for a “number of years.”
“At one point this area was remote. It was a spot where we would routinely dispose of carcasses for a number of years,” said Niskanen. “We typically place them in a remote area in order to let nature take its course.”
The DNR is currently in the process of testing for Chronic Wasting Disease. Niskanen says some of the deer heads found in the waste site were tested for the disease.
“There were some deer heads that were there that were part of our CWD protocol. In this case the protocol for disposing of those heads in the landfill was not followed in a couple cases here and some of the heads were left at this disposal site. We’re not going to let that happen anymore. We are revisiting all of our protocols for disposing of those heads. Those heads shouldn’t have been there.”
Niskanen says the disposal site should be cleaned up as early as Wednesdays or Thursday, and all of the carcasses will be disposed at the landfill.
“We are in the process of reviewing all of our protocols around these disposable sites and I’m fairly certain that this will be a spot that we don’t dispose of carcasses anymore,” added Niskanen.