Hunters encouraged to get deer tested for CWD, assist with surveillance efforts
MADISON, Wis. — Deer hunting seasons are right around the corner, with the archery and crossbow season beginning on Sept. 14, and the Wisconsin DNR reminds hunters who harvest deer to have adult deer tested for chronic wasting disease. (For a related story, click here.)
This year, CWD surveillance will occur throughout 18 counties in northern Wisconsin as part of a multi-year rotation across the state. Enhanced surveillance efforts will also occur around wild and captive positive detections and in counties with low sampling numbers in recent years.
In addition, surveillance will continue in the Southern Farmland Zone and in select locations in CWD-affected counties in the central, northeast, and west-central part of the state. This includes counties that have had a wild deer CWD positive detection (Adams, Juneau, Portage, Eau Claire, Lincoln, Oneida and Marquette counties) as well as in the wild deer herd surrounding CWD positive captive deer facilities (Marathon, Eau Claire, Oneida, Shawano, Waupaca, Marinette and Oconto counties). Hunter service testing, free of charge, will continue to be provided for adult deer harvested statewide.
CWD sampling locations
As in previous years, CWD sampling will be offered at various locations throughout the state. Options for CWD sampling include both in-person service as well as self-service options.
Self-service kiosks are a convenient way for hunters to have their deer tested for CWD, and feedback shows that hunters appreciate this option. Kiosks provide a 24/7 drop-off option for hunters to help enhance sampling numbers, provide for ease of use and increase options in the world of electronic registration.
“The cooperation of hunters and private businesses is vital to the success of our sampling process. DNR staff thank all those who continue to assist with CWD surveillance,” said Tami Ryan, DNR’s acting director for the Bureau of Wildlife Management.
Hunters are reminded that CWD surveillance efforts focus on testing adult deer, since older deer are more likely to test positive for the disease. For their convenience, the DNR recommends hunters contact staffed sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation.
For more information regarding where to take your deer for sampling, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “CWD sampling” or contact local DNR wildlife management staff.
Baiting & feeding
There are currently baiting and feeding bans in counties throughout the state. Hunters and landowners should check the DNR baiting and feeding webpage frequently for updates, as new baiting and feeding bans may be enacted in 2019 with new wild or captive CWD positive detections. None of the counties currently identified statewide will be removed from the baiting and feeding ban in 2019.
Prevent the spread of CWD
The DNR recommends a few simple practices to help prevent the spread of CWD. Ways to help include proper carcass transportation, handling and disposal as well as reporting sick deer, following baiting and feeding information and the cleaning and decontamination of equipment. Another way hunters can help is by following urine-based scent recommendations.
Sick deer reports
DNR staff are interested in reports of sick deer and deer with an unknown cause of death, with the exception of car-killed deer. To report a sick or dead deer, contact local wildlife staff or call the DNR’s Customer Service hotline at 1-800-847-9367.
To view CWD results for a harvested deer, visit dnr.wi.gov, search keywords “CWD results.” Hunters will need to enter a customer ID or CWD sample barcode number to view test results. The average turnaround time from when the deer is brought to a sampling station to when the results are available is typically two weeks.
If test results come back positive for CWD, hunters should follow advice from the Centers for Disease Control [EXIT DNR], Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services and the World Health Organization [EXIT DNR] not to consume venison from that deer.
For more information regarding CWD in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “CWD.”