The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirms the first wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in southern Wood County in the Town of Port Edwards, within ten miles of Juneau and Adams counties. As required by state law, the DNR will renew the baiting and feeding bans in Wood, Juneau and Adams counties.
The CWD-positive deer was an adult buck harvested during the 2020 gun deer season and tested as part of the department’s disease surveillance efforts. State law requires that the DNR enact a ban on the baiting and feeding of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a wild or farm-raised deer that tests positive for CWD. Because the deer was harvested within 10 miles of Juneau and Adams counties, bans in those counties will also be renewed.
The DNR will continue surveillance near the CWD positive detection location. Collecting CWD samples is important for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state.
As ever, successful CWD management depends in part on citizen involvement in the decision-making process through local County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC).
The upcoming Wood County CDAC meeting to discuss deer population objectives will include additional information on the new CWD detection. This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. Additional details regarding the Wood County CDAC is available here. (Select Wood from the drop-down menu.) Preregistration is not required.
CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. CWD occurs only in members of the Cervidae or deer family – both wild and captive. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state’s wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.
More information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin is available here. Information on how to have deer tested during the 2020-21 hunting seasons is available here.