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DNR pushes deer hunters to do CWD testing

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:02 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - On the eve of Wisconsin’s gun-deer season, the DNR makes one more push encouraging successful hunters to have their deer tested for chronic wasting disease. The state’s focus is on Northeast Wisconsin right now.

Over the last two years, CWD made its way into Northeast Wisconsin with confirmation of wild deer testing positive in Sheboygan, Shawano and Fond du Lac counties.

Now, as hunters travel to their hunting land and prepare to take aim Saturday, there’s another request from the DNR to have the deer they harvest tested for CWD. “So that we can have the clearest picture of where the disease does and does not exist in Northeast Wisconsin and then make good management decisions going forward,” Jeff Pritzl, DNR deer program specialist, explained.

A two-year effort to sample at least 300 deer in each Northeast Wisconsin county launched last year, and Pritzl says progess was made toward reaching that goal. But so far this fall through the early archery and crossbow season that progress has slowed.

“Unfortunately right now we’re trending a little behind where we were last year in participation, and that’s kind of a break. We’ve been seeing growing participation over the last couple of years with an emphasis last year, and so we’re hoping that during the gun season we can catch up,” Pritzl said.

Hunters are reminded the testing is free and there are a number of ways to submit a sample:

  • Self-service kiosks are open 24/7;
  • participating meat processors and taxidermists can collect samples;
  • an appointment can be made with a local wildlife biologist; or
  • at-home sampling kits are available for those interested in collecting their own CWD sample.

The CWD section on the DNR’s web site provides complete details on all the options.

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