First CWD-positive wild deer in Eau Claire County

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress received a record-setting 64,943 responses to the 2020 spring hearings questionnaire featuring topics such as baiting and feeding deer.   (Photo by Rob Drieslein)

A sick-looking wild white-tailed doe called in by an Eau Claire landowner to the Wisconsin DNR turned out to have chronic wasting disease (CWD). That discovery triggered a three-year deer baiting and feeding ban in Eau Claire County beginning May 1.

The CWD-positive doe is the first confirmed wild deer to test positive for the disease in Eau Claire County.

The doe was found in the town of Brunswick, just southwest of the city of Eau Claire. The unincorporated communities of Lufkin and Mount Hope Corners are located in the town.

Because this new CWD-positive result came within 10 miles of Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin and Trempealeau counties, they will also be designated as CWD-affected counties. That means that a two-year baiting and feeding ban will be applied to those five counties, also beginning May 1.

“While this latest detection is disheartening and is certainly cause for concern in Eau Claire and the surrounding counties, it demonstrates the importance of local involvement in our monitoring efforts,” DNR Secretary Dan Meyer said in a news release April 18. “Receiving the sick deer call from this concerned landowner allowed us to apply our sick deer response protocol and respond quickly to investigate a potential new CWD detection.

With the detection, the DNR will:

  • Convene a meeting with County Deer Advisory Council members from the six counties to decide on future actions.
  • Establish a 10-mile radius surveillance area around the positive location.
  • Conduct surveillance activities to assess CWD distribution and prevalence (sampling car-killed adult deer, ag damage permit adult deer, and adult deer shot as part of urban deer hunts).
  • Establish CWD sampling locations prior to fall deer seasons.
Categories: CWD, Whitetail Deer, Wisconsin – Dean Bortz