RHINELANDER, Wis. - In cooperation with local businesses, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will collect deer heads for chronic wasting disease surveillance testing Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties during the 2016 archery and gun hunting seasons.
If you harvest an adult deer within these counties please consider submitting a sample from any harvested adult deer for CWD testing.
These efforts are in response to two deer harvested in an Oneida County hunting preserve testing positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in late 2015. The first step toward protecting the wild deer herd in this area of the state was the legislatively mandated enactment of a baiting and feeding ban in the three counties on Jan. 11, 2016 to reduce risk for disease transmission.
Steps that followed for this targeted area of the state included developing sampling strategies including car-killed deer, sick and injured deer reports, and deer harvested during regular hunting seasons and is a consistent response to new CWD detections in either wild or captive cervids.
Sick deer reports
Samples will be collected from sick adult deer exhibiting signs of CWD in all three counties. Everyone is encouraged to keep an eye out for deer that appear sick or are otherwise acting abnormally so biologists can assess if symptoms are consistent with CWD infection. Sick deer can be reported to the Woodruff, Rhinelander, and Florence DNR offices or directly to the following DNR Wildlife Management staff:
Vilas County - Michele Woodford, 751-356-5211, ext. 207;
Oneida County - Jeremy Holtz, 715-365-8999; and
Forest County - Chuck McCullough, 715-623-4190, ext. 3131.
DNR staff will collect samples from adult deer killed by vehicles within ten miles of Three Lakes as opportunities arise. Individuals who wish to keep car-killed deer can still do so, but are encouraged to allow DNR staff to collect samples beforehand. Deer can be sampled by contacting the biologists listed previously.
CWD samples will be collected from adult deer harvested by hunters in all three counties during the 2016-17 deer hunting seasons. Head samples will be collected at cooperating locations throughout the area. Sampling location information is still being updated - check the CWD sampling webpage for updates as additional locations are added. In addition, hunters may also contact the DNR Wildlife Management staff listed above.
Wisconsin's citizens and cooperators have played a key role in CWD sampling efforts in Wisconsin, and department staff would like to thank all participants and collection cooperators for their continued efforts.
For more information and a list of participating taxidermists and deer processors, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "CWD sampling." For CWD testing results, search keywords "CWD test results."
Deer hunters are encouraged to check out the frequently asked questions page for more information regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin. The FAQ feature provides brief responses to a wide variety of deer hunting questions, ranging from deer management unit boundaries to antlerless permits. To view the FAQ page and more information regarding archery and crossbow deer hunting, search keyword "deer."