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MADISON – In 2014, state wildlife officials will continue to test white-tailed deer harvested by hunters for chronic wasting disease. This testing is part of a continued effort to monitor the status and geographic spread of the disease in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be testing deer from select areas of the state — sampling strategies are aimed at monitoring distribution and trends in prevalence of the disease. Surveillance will focus on adult deer, since older deer are more likely to have the disease.
“The testing is provided as a service to hunters, but it is also an important tool for monitoring the disease,” said Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief.
Through implementation of the Deer Trustee Report and recommendations, the former CWD management zone has been eliminated. However, the department will continue to track disease trends within long-term monitoring areas of the former zone.
The department will also be asking hunters to submit test samples from deer harvested in Dane, Jefferson, southern Dodge, Columbia, and eastern Sauk counties. Sampling will also be concentrated in Washburn, Juneau, Adams and Portage counties. In Vernon and Crawford counties, samples will be collected at select taxidermists and DNR staff will be collecting adult deer samples at several registration on opening weekend of the November gun deer season.
People can find a CWD sampling station by searching the DNR website dnr.wi.gov for keywords “CWD sampling.” Hunters are reminded to contact sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation.
As part of the Deer Trustee Report rules package, $5 from each bonus antlerless deer permit sale in CWD affected counties will be used for CWD testing and monitoring.
A map of the 2014 CWD sampling area is available for viewing on the DNR website.