The DNR is trying to figure out what caused around two-dozen deer to die in Stearns County. All the adult deer were found west and south of the Rice Bridge toward St. Stephen.   Two deer that were “okay” enough were taken to the U-of-M for testing. Initial tests showed no signs of anything clinical. Further samples were sent to the National Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Iowa and Colorado State University. The DNR’s Eric Altena says he understands why landowners in that area are concerned ahead of the upcoming hunting season:

“Anytime you see a couple of deer that are dying it’s obviously a concern. If you have hunting property and you are trying to manage a particular area or whatever certain people have a concern and rightfully so.”

Altena says if you find a deer that has died from unknown causes you should contact your local DNR office.