Contact(s): Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief, 608-266-3143
MADISON - Deer season is in full swing, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff remind hunters who harvest adult deer, to have those deer tested for chronic wasting disease. This is particularly important in areas affected by chronic wasting disease.
DNR staff continue to employ disease surveillance objectives (disease assessment and disease detection) statewide and will continue to sample deer within the Southern Farmland Zone and at select locations in other CWD-affected counties. Surveillance will also expand to all 19 counties of the DNR West Central District and parts of northern Wisconsin.
No targeted surveillance will occur in the four-county surveillance area surrounding the Washburn County CWD positive area due to no additional positives being detected during six consecutive years of surveillance since 2012. However, hunters will still have opportunities to have their adult deer tested within this four-county area through hunter service requests and self-service options. Self-service kiosks are available 24/7 for hunters to drop off a deer head to be tested for CWD. Hunters can find kiosk locations by searching the DNR website for CWD sampling, then click on the link for sampling/registration station database, and choosing "self-service kiosk" in the drop down menu under "Station Type."
New for this deer season is the opportunity for local individuals or groups to "Adopt a Kiosk." The goals of the Adopt-a-Kiosk program are to increase CWD sample numbers, improve ease of access and enhance CWD sample submission options for hunters in the world of electronic registration. The program also provides an opportunity for conservation groups or individuals to assist the DNR in its CWD surveillance efforts, and in fact, it is because of this interest that the Adopt-a-Kiosk program originated.
Kiosks are a useful tool in areas without a current a cooperative sampling station. Local DNR staff will work with the Adopt-a-Kiosk participants to identify kiosk location as well as discuss protocols and schedules. Overall feedback from hunters indicates an appreciation for kiosk availability for CWD sample submission.
If hunters choose to have their deer CWD tested through cooperating meet processor or taxidermist rather than using a self-service kiosk, they are reminded to contact sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation and that CWD surveillance efforts focus on testing adult deer, since older deer are more likely to have the disease. For more information regarding where to take your deer for sampling, search keywords "CWD sampling" or contact local DNR wildlife management staff.
Hunters can search for CWD test results individually or view a summary. Hunters will need a customer ID or CWD sample barcode to search for individual results. The average turnaround time from when the deer is brought to a sampling station to when the results are available is typically two to three weeks. For information regarding CWD test results, search keywords "CWD results".
If test results come back positive for CWD, hunters should follow advice from the Center for Disease Control (exit DNR), Wisconsin Department of Health Services and World Health Organization (exit DNR) to not consume venison from that deer.
The cooperation of hunters and private businesses has become increasingly vital to the success of our CWD sampling process. DNR staff would like to thank all those who continue to assist with CWD surveillance.
Hunters are also reminded to check out the Wild Wisconsin: Off the Record podcast to learn more about CWD in Wisconsin. The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube. Season two of the Wild Wisconsin web series will also feature a segment highlighting CWD in Wisconsin.