CWD-DNR

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed Friday that a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease near Menomonie in Dunn County.

The CWD-positive deer was an adult buck killed during the 2019 archery deer season that was tested as part of the department’s disease surveillance efforts. It is the first wild CWD-positive deer recorded in Dunn County.

The deer’s location was 18 miles outside of the existing Chippewa Valley CWD surveillance area, where five wild white-tailed deer have previously tested positive for CWD in southwest Eau Claire County in 2018 and 2019.

Last year, as part of disease detection efforts throughout the agency’s entire West-Central District, 373 samples were submitted from Dunn County with no resulting CWD detections. Last year’s sampling effort was comprehensive, and this recent detection indicates the disease is unlikely to be distributed throughout the county, the DNR said in a news release.

However, disease distribution is often not spread evenly, and biologists need samples from the area around this positive test to better understand the local distribution of CWD.

State law requires that the Wisconsin DNR to enact a ban on 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 or tuberculosis. Dunn and Chippewa counties already have a baiting and feeding ban and are identified as CWD-affected counties because of their proximity to the positive detections in Eau Claire County. As required by law, this new positive will renew the baiting and feeding bans in both counties.

“We are committed to working closely with local communities, including the citizen-based Chippewa Valley CWD Advisory Team, as we explore future response and management options for this disease in Dunn and the surrounding counties,” DNR West Central District wildlife supervisor Kris Johansen said in the release.

The agency is encouraging hunters to submit a sample from deer they kill this hunting season for free CWD testing at sampling locations in regional counties to give scientists more information about the prevalence of the fatal, neurological disease. Hunters also are urged to use deer carcass waste disposal options during the remainder of this deer season. Locations of both are listed on the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov.

Hunters have been able to bowhunt for deer since Sept. 14. Wisconsin’s gun hunting season begins today and ends Dec. 1.