MADISON – Wisconsin wildlife officials will continue testing harvested white-tailed deer for chronic wasting disease this year. This testing is part of the ongoing efforts to monitor the status and spread of the disease in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be testing deer from select areas of the state, with surveillance focusing on adult deer, since older deer are more likely to have the disease.
“We provide testing as a service to deer hunters, but it is also important in our efforts to monitor the distribution and prevalence of the disease,” said Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief. “We will continue testing and tracking this disease within our long-term monitoring areas in southern Wisconsin where CWD is regularly found. Long-term monitoring provides useful data that increases our understanding of CWD dynamics and impacts.”
The department will continue to collect samples from deer harvested in Dane, Iowa, Rock, Walworth, Vernon, Crawford, Grant, Waukesha, Washington, Washburn, Polk, Burnett, Barron, Juneau, Adams, Portage, Marathon, Eau Claire, Clark, and Jackson counties.
New for 2016, wildlife staff will be sampling deer in Oneida, Vilas, and Forest counties, as well as in Oconto County in the areas around two CWD-positive captive deer facilities.
In Marquette and Green Lake counties, samples will be collected for the second consecutive year at select taxidermists throughout the deer hunting season.
“We know that CWD is found at higher prevalence rates in adult males than in other deer sex and age classes,” said Ryan. “Working with taxidermists is a cost-efficient surveillance method to increase our sampling of older age bucks, and is our best method for detecting new disease locations.”
CWD sampling will be offered at various locations throughout southern, central and northern Wisconsin. For information regarding where to take your deer for sampling, search keywords “CWD sampling” or contact the DNR call center at 888-936-7463. Hunters are reminded to contact sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation.