Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board approves more stringent game farm fencing rules aimed at CWD management
The Natural Resources Board, on Aug. 8, approved restrictions on moving deer carcasses out of CWD-affected counties and required enhanced fencing for white-tailed deer farms.
The changes are meant to help prevent the spread of CWD, a disease fatal to deer.
The board modified the restriction on carcass movement, allowing hunters to move a deer carcass outside of a CWD-affected area if it is taken to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours from the time the deer carcass leaves the county of harvest.
For home processors, a deer could be moved outside a CWD county if the meat is deboned or quartered. The skull, neck and spinal column must be left in the county of harvest. A deer head may also be transported to an approved CWD sampling cooperator, kiosk or CWD testing center.
The board also adopted the requirement that white-tailed deer farms must include a second 8-foot-high fence, or a solid barrier at least 8 feet high, or a three-strand electrified wire fence. The board gave deer farmers one year to comply after the rule is adopted.
The board also approved a scope statement that could result in a formal emergency rule closing the ruffed grouse hunting season early in 2018. The board had asked the DNR for a proposal to close the season on Nov. 30 due to an unexpected downturn in grouse populations.
The DNR provided a statement, signed by the governor, without a specific closure date but will include a proposed date to the board at its Sept. 26 meeting.
The board also let the DNR know in no uncertain terms that it wants to receive a report next June on whether a similar early closure needs to be considered in 2019, and it wants to see a completed ruffed grouse management plan by January 2020.