One deer registration convenience led to what could be an inconvenience for some deer hunters after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources changed to electronic registration. Hunters can now call or computer- or cellphone-transmit deer registration data instead of stopping at an in-person station.
Before e-registration, those stations were, for a while, a location where hunters could have their deer sampled for chronic wasting disease testing, among other things including aging, without making a second stop.
Now for hunters who home-process their venison, there may not be a need to stop by a station or meat processor. It’s an effort, then, to get a sample taken. Maybe a taxidermist visit is necessary if the deer is trophy or situation-worthy (based on the hunter’s judgement).
Numerous businesses continue to assist hunters in e-registering their deer, which does mean a stop. A deer donation or professional meat cutting also requires a stop. Some of these businesses also take CWD samples, either the head or just the glands.
A few businesses (one-stop shops) continue to combine all these activities, including registration assists, taxidermy, meat processing, deer donation and sampling for CWD testing.
Uncle Jimmy’s Deer Processing in rural Dane County on Highway ID, continues to be one of these one-stop locations. They also serve a hunter’s lunch daily. Or snacks to go.
Eric Canania, DNR senior wildlife biologist for the 18-county southern district, said CWD testing this year will be very similar to last year, but with some improvements.
Meet HANK, the acronym for a head and neck kiosk.
“We’ve more than doubled the kiosks, particularly in some locations where intensive testing is our goal,” Canania said.
Instead of 50 kiosks, there are already about 100 open. Each kiosk is a self-serve location where the hunter can remove the deer’s head and 6-8 inches of the neck, fill out paper work, and leave the head for pickup and sampling.
Canania described the kiosk (HANK) system as follows, “There is a saw to remove the head and neck; take 6-8 inches of the neck below the skull line; read the information; fill out the data sheet; attach one medallion to the deer’s ear; keep the second medallion for reference; place the head in a plastic bag, provided; and place the bag in the shoot. Allow 10-14 days for results. Hunters will be notified if the deer tests positive, but not negative results. Use bar code number to check results on DNR Web site regardless of the test result.
“In the southern district core, Iowa, Sauk, Richland, Grant, Dodge and Milwaukee counties, there are numerous options, kiosks and cooperators,” Canania said.
Another region, the deer predator study area, in the southern district has a goal of 1,500 deer tested for CWD.
Numerous cooperators take the effort from the hunter and either remove the head and neck or remove two glands for testing.
All HANK locations, the kiosks, and cooperators, are listed on the DNR Web site and can be found by typing in “sampling” once on the site. The kiosks as “open” 24 hours and cooperator locations, phones, and addresses show on the Web page helping to make a decision as to where the closest sampling site can be found.
If additional information is needed, use the 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. DNR help number, 888-936-7463.
Jerry Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.