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Chronic wasting disease sampling opportunities available for northwest Wisconsin for the 2019 deer hunting seasons

Contact(s): Nancy Christel, Wildlife Biologist (715) 635-4091
September 13, 2019 at 11:50:24 am

SPOONER, WIS. - In cooperation with local businesses, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff will collect deer heads for chronic wasting disease surveillance and testing during the 2019 deer hunting seasons. CWD sampling options will be available to hunters across northern Wisconsin in 2019.

As part of this region-wide effort, hunters who harvest an adult deer in Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk, and Washburn counties are strongly encouraged to submit deer heads for testing. CWD testing is free of charge to the hunter, and anyone submitting the head will receive their results in two to three weeks.

The health of the deer herd relies upon commitment from our hunters. Managing CWD begins with knowing where the disease already exists on the landscape, and having this knowledge is only possible with a robust sample size. Please make plans to visit one of the following sampling stations to have deer tested.

"We're grateful for hunters making that extra effort to have their deer sampled for CWD, and to support them, we continue to make access to sampling simpler, faster and easier each year," said Tami Ryan, DNR Acting Director for the Bureau of Wildlife Management. "Each deer sample is important because it brings us closer to our goal and ultimately contributes to an accurate understanding of the health of Wisconsin's deer herd."

Sampling Locations

Hunters have several options available to have their deer sampled for CWD. In addition to a network of 24/7 self-service sampling stations (also called kiosks) around the state, many meat processors and businesses offer in-person sampling assistance. Some sampling locations also have DNR Wildlife Management staff available to take samples and answer hunter questions.

For an interactive map with sampling locations available in your area, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "CWD sampling." There is also a searchable database available as an alternative to the map view.

A sample consists of the deer head with 3-5 inches of neck attached. Hunters will also need to have their harvest authorization number, harvest location and contact information when submitting a sample. To make special arrangements for large bucks, please call a nearby DNR wildlife biologist.

Baiting and Feeding

On August 26, 2019, the DNR was notified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, & Consumer Protection that a captive elk on a deer farm in Burnett County tested positive for CWD.

State law requires that the DNR enact a ban on feeding and baiting of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a captive or free-roaming domestic or wild animal that tests positive for CWD or tuberculosis. As required by law, this will create a three-year baiting and feeding ban in Burnett County and two-year baiting and feeding bans for Barron, Polk, and Washburn counties beginning September 1, 2019.

Check the DNR's baiting and feeding webpage frequently for updates, as new baiting and feeding bans may be enacted in 2019 with new CWD detections. Hunters can also contact local wildlife staff to determine if baiting and feeding bans are in effect in their county. No counties statewide will be removed from the ban during the 2019 deer hunting season.

Prevent the spread of CWD

By learning and following recommended practices, hunters, landowners and others can help to reduce and 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, but this does not include examining car-killed deer. Contact local wildlife staff listed above to report a sick or dead deer or call the DNR Customer Service hotline at 1-800-847-9367.

Test results

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."

Last Revised: Friday, September 13, 2019

Contact information

Need an expert? Contact the Office of Communications.

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email DNRPress@Wisconsin.gov and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.

For more information about news and media, contact:
Sarah Hoye
Director Of Communications
Office Of The Secretary