MERRILL — Targeted chronic wasting disease surveillance will occur in two separate areas near Rhinelander this fall.

Deer will be sampled in northern Lincoln, northern Langlade and southern Oneida counties following the detection of CWD in two wild deer along the Lincoln/Oneida county border, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Deer in eastern Oneida, southern Vilas and western Forest counties will continue to be sampled as a result of CWD-positive deer on an Oneida County captive deer hunting ranch, first detected in 2015.

“Department of Natural Resources staff strongly encourage hunters to submit adult deer heads for testing from these areas – it is very important that we sample adult deer in these areas to gauge what is going on with this disease and to detect the infection early,” said Janet Brehm, DNR wildlife biologist, in a DNR news release.

In addition to voluntary sampling in 2018, DNR staff will offer CWD surveillance permits to landowners within the Lincoln/Oneida wild positive area, as well as the area surrounding the captive deer positives in Three Lakes. CWD testing is a requirement for adult deer harvested with these surveillance permits. Permits will be issued within the surveillance boundaries around the CWD-positive locations. Refer to links below to determine if your land is in this area.

Surveillance permits will be issued from the Rhinelander and Merrill DNR offices by appointment only. For Rhinelander, contact Paul Napierala at 715-401-2871 or via email at For Merrill, contact Carissa Freeh at 608-220-1817 or via email at

The department’s goal is to test 450 deer inside each surveillance area to determine range and infection rate for CWD. Hunters outside these surveillance areas can also have their adult deer tested at CWD sampling locations. Self-service kiosks are available to any hunter for CWD sampling – just follow the directions found at any kiosk, which includes removing the deer’s head (including a portion of neck) and completing a datasheet. Removing antlers does not affect test results.

CWD sample submission is currently available at the following self-service kiosk locations:

  • DNR Ranger Station, 101 Eagle Drive, Merrill (front of the building);
  • DNR Lemay Center, 518 W. Somo Ave., Tomahawk (west side of main building);
  • DNR Service Center, 107 Sutliff Ave., Rhinelander (front of building);
  • DNR Satellite Center, 223 E. Steinfest Road, Antigo (behind the main building);
  • BP Gas Station, N9521 Highway 45, Summit Lake (front of building);
  • Fisher’s Bar, N11209 Highway 17, Gleason (front of building);
  • DNR Service Center, 8770 Highway J, Woodruff (front of building);
  • DNR Ranger Station, 1861 Highway 45 N., Eagle River (front of building); and
  • DNR Ranger Station, 404 N. Lake St., Crandon (front of garage).

Department staff may add additional locations and are currently looking for cooperators to assist with CWD sampling. Visit and search keywords “CWD sampling” for current sampling locations.

For information regarding CWD test results, search keywords “CWD results.” To view CWD results for a harvested deer, hunters will need to enter a customer ID or CWD sample barcode number. CWD testing is free of charge to the hunter, and 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.

Self-sample kits available at Rhinelander and Antigo DNR service and satellite centers

CWD self-sample testing kits are also available at the Rhinelander DNR Service Center, as well as the Antigo Satellite Center. These kits include all supplies and instruction necessary for hunters to collect CWD lymph node samples from harvested deer, and a prepaid envelope for mailing samples to the DNR CWD Processing Center. These kits are free and are distributed on a first come, first served basis while supplies last at select DNR service centers.

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].

Sick deer reports

DNR staff are interested in reports of sick deer or deer with an unknown cause of death, but it is important to note that they are not currently examining car-killed deer. Contact your local DNR wildlife biologist to report a sick or dead deer or call the DNR’s Customer Service hotline at 1-800-847-9367.

Lincoln/Oneida County wild positives area:

Three Lakes captive positive area: