Contact(s): Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief, 608-266-3143
MADISON - Deer hunting seasons are about to begin with archery and crossbow this weekend, and Department of Natural Resources staff remind hunters who harvest deer to have adult deer tested for chronic wasting disease - this is particularly important in areas affected by CWD.
For more information regarding CWD in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "CWD."
DNR staff continue to utilize 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 department's west central district and parts of northern Wisconsin.
No targeted surveillance will occur in the 4-county surveillance area surrounding the Washburn County CWD positive area due to no additional positives being detected during six consecutive years of surveillance since 2011. However, hunters will still have opportunities to have their adult deer tested within the 4-county area.
Options for CWD sampling continue to include both in-person service as well as 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 locate this option in the drop-down menu in the registration station database on our CWD webpages.
New for this deer season is the opportunity for local individuals or groups to "adopt-a-kiosk." The goal of the Adopt-a-Kiosk program is to enhance CWD sample numbers, ease, and options for hunters in the world of electronic registration. It also provides an opportunity for conservation groups or individuals to assist the department and it is due to these types of interests that this program originated.
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 available availability for CWD sample submission. Kiosks are a useful tool in areas without a current a cooperative sampling station.
Hunters 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, visit dnr.wi.gov and 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 weeks or less. 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 sampling process. Department 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.