Know CWD [exit DNR] General information about CWD in Wisconsin including common misconceptions.
- Contact information
- For information on sick deer, contact:
- Nancy Businga
Wildlife disease specialist/health lab manager
Bureau of Wildlife Management
What to do if you see a sick or dead deer
The department would like to be notified if you see a sick or dead deer. Sick deer reporting is the most efficient way to monitor disease and remove disease agents from the landscape. Your cooperation is appreciated! Additional information on deer health.
Contact the local biologist in your county if you see a sick or dead deer. If it is after hours, or a biologist isn't available please contact the department's hotline at 1-800-847-9367. Staff will relay the information to the conservation warden who is currently working in the area.
In Columbia, Dane, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, Rock and Sauk the CWD biologist is also available for sick deer calls.
During an open deer hunting season
If you have a valid deer hunting license with an unused carcass tag for a deer that appears sick, you may shoot the deer following all applicable laws and regulations, including tagging the animal immediately. Then, contact your local wildlife biologist or conservation warden who will conduct an evaluation of the animal and may issue you a free replacement tag. If you are in doubt and have the opportunity prior to shooting a suspected sick deer, please contact your local wildlife or law enforcement staff in advance. In addition, the DNR is also interested in reports of multiple dead deer found in any one area.
Outside of an open deer hunting season
If you see a deer that you suspect may be sick outside of a deer hunting season or when you may not have a valid tag for the animal during one of our deer hunting seasons, please contact your local wildlife biologist or conservation warden and they may either come to your location and dispatch the deer or may give you permission to shoot the animal so we can collect it at a later time. In addition, the DNR is also interested in reports of multiple dead deer found in any one area.
Chronic wasting disease
If a deer is showing signs of CWD it should be tested. Transport the deer to a CWD sampling station if one is available in the area during a deer hunting season or contact your local biologist or conservation warden.
- Results of sick deer tested for CWD in 2016.
Clinical signs of CWD
- No fear of humans
- Teeth grinding
- Notable weakness
- Drooping of head and ears
- Excessive thirst
- Difficulty swallowing
- Walking in set patterns
- Loss of coordination
- Excessive salivation
- Diminished tone of facial muscles
- Excessive urination
- Severe emaciation and dehydration
- Inability to stand