WISCONSIN RAPIDS – In cooperation with local businesses, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff members will collect deer heads for chronic wasting disease surveillance testing during the 2019 archery, crossbow and gun hunting seasons.
Hunters who harvest an adult deer within Adams, Juneau, Marathon, Portage and Wood counties are strongly encouraged to consider submitting a sample from the deer for CWD testing.
The health of the deer herd relies upon commitment from 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.
“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, in a news release. “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.”
CWD sampling locations
In addition to a network of 24/7 self-service sampling stations, or 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, call your nearby DNR wildlife biologist.
Baiting and feeding
White-tailed deer baiting and feeding are prohibited in Adams, Juneau, Marathon, Portage and Wood counties.
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 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 members 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.
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, Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services and the World Health Organization not to consume venison from that deer.