LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 
Find
ways to reduce wildlife-human conflict and avoid wildlife damage.
Explore
Wisconsin's rare plants, animals and natural communities.
Discover
tips to manage your land for wildlife.
Learn
about wildlife health and rehabilitation.
Know CWD website

Know CWD [exit DNR] General information about CWD in Wisconsin including common misconceptions.

Contact information
For information on CWD, contact:
Timothy Marien
CWD wildlife biologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-264-6046

Former CWD management zone population

Monitoring changes in deer populations in the former chronic wasting disease management zone (CWD-MZ) is important for understanding changes in CWD transmission and prevalence rates and the effectiveness of management efforts. Trends in the size of the deer population in the CWD-MZ are being monitoring using a combination of helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft surveys and population modeling.

Fixed-wing survey methods

  • Surveys consist of transects oriented east-west that extend across the length of DMUs.
  • There are three people in the fixed-wing aircraft: the pilot and two observers. Diagram of observation areas [PDF]
  • Transects are spaced two miles apart on the centerline. Transects are 1/4 mile wide, about 200 yards are searched on each side of the plane.
  • Average speed is 95 mph.
  • Transects are flown when there is at least 4-6 inches of snow cover.
  • Currently, over 4,200 miles are flown each winter, surveying 17 DMUs in the CWD management zone.
  • The surveys do not directly provide a population estimate, but an index of relative abundance.

Helicopter survey methods

Helicopter surveys have not been done for the last couple of winters but may be continued in the future.

  • Randomly selected square mile quadrats are surveyed, covering about 20-30 percent of the study area.
  • There are three people in the helicopter: the pilot and two observers.
  • Transects are flown when there is at least 4-6 inches of snow cover.
  • Depending on wind conditions, transects are either flown north and south or east and west.
  • Enough transects flown in each section to be able to see all areas of the section.
  • Fly around 100ft above tree tops at 30-35 mph.
  • The location and number of deer are recorded on aerial photos.
  • Care is taken to prevent double counting of running deer.

Deer population trends

Current analyses that incorporate data from helicopter and fixed-wing surveys with historic harvest data suggest that the deer population in the CWD-MZ increased substantially during the 1990s, peaked at over 200,000 in 2002, and has been slowly declining since then.

Last revised: Wednesday September 06 2017