The 2019 Wisconsin deer hunting season is underway, and the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters who harvest adult deer to test them for chronic wasting disease.

This year, enhanced CWD surveillance efforts are occurring throughout 18 counties in northern Wisconsin as part of a multi-year rotation across the state to determine where CWD exists on the landscape. Additional surveillance efforts will focus on areas surrounding wild and captive positive detections as well as in select counties with low sampling numbers in recent years.

To meet surveillance goals, the department is seeking to test as many deer as hunters will provide for sampling in the following locations: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Eau Claire , Florence, Forest, Iron, Juneau, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Oconto, Oneida, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Washburn and Waupaca counties. Surveillance is also continuing in the Southern Farmland Zone.

While there are focused areas of surveillance, hunters anywhere in Wisconsin can have their deer tested for CWD, and there are a variety of options available to make sampling convenient for hunters. Options for CWD sampling include both in-person service as well as self-service options. Hunters should contact staffed sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation and should have their harvest authorization number and location of harvest information available when submitting a sample for CWD testing.

Deer Carcass Waste Disposal

Hunters are encouraged to dispose of deer carcass waste in a licensed landfill that accepts this waste or in a dumpster designated for deer carcass waste. If a municipality allows deer disposal curbside or at a transfer station, the carcass should be double bagged. If these options are not available and the deer was harvested on private land, burying the deer carcass waste or returning it to the location of the harvest are the next best options.

"The cooperation of businesses who provide a sampling or disposal location and the hunters who have their deer tested are vital to the success of our CWD surveillance process," Tami Ryan, DNR Acting Director of the Bureau of Wildlife Management.

Hunters can find a map with the CWD sampling locations and deer carcass disposal locations on the DNR website as well as in the Hunt Wild app.

Baiting & Feeding

There are currently baiting and feeding bans in several counties throughout the state. Hunters and landowners should check the DNR baiting and feeding webpage frequently for updates, as new baiting and feeding bans may be enacted in 2019 with new wild or captive CWD positive detections. None of the counties currently identified statewide will be removed from the baiting and feeding ban in 2019.

Prevent the spread of CWD

The DNR recommends a few simple practices to help prevent the spread of CWD. This includes and is not limited to information on proper carcass transportation, handling, and disposal, 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 is interested in reports of sick deer. To report a sick deer, contact local wildlife staff or call the DNR's Customer Service hotline at 1-800-847-9367.

Test results

To view CWD results for a harvested deer, hunters will need to enter a customer ID or CWD sample barcode number. The average turnaround time from when the deer is brought to a sampling station to when the results are available is typically 10-14 days.

The Centers for Disease Control, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services and the World Health Organization advise against consuming venison from deer that have tested positive for CWD.

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