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A CWD Snapshot in Wisconsin Gained with Help from Hunters

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

In 2015, 290 positive detections were made in deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says it sampled more than 3,100 deer with the help of hunters throughout the state.

“Once again, hunter cooperation has been outstanding. This year was our first sampling year under the new electronic deer registration system, and we used this opportunity to try new collection methods,” says Tim Marien, DNR wildlife health biologist. “Although the total number of deer tested decreased from 2014, that was not unexpected this first year. We learned from the experience and will continue to work closely with hunters to make sample submission convenient and gather more samples.”

The cases of positive CWD detection were mainly found in the state’s southwestern endemic area, according to the DNR.

Marien says that within the long-term southwest monitoring area, CWD rates remain higher than the rest of the state. In addition, within the zone, rates remain higher in males than females and higher in adults than yearlings.

Other surveillance areas include within a 10-mile radius of each new positive wild deer found in 2012 in Juneau, Adams, and Portage counties in central Wisconsin. Officials have also been monitoring CWD-positive captive deer facilities in Marathon and Eau Claire counties.

CWD monitoring efforts in the fourth year in Washburn County. The DNR says that based on four years of data, which includes samples of more than 2,000 deer, the disease isn’t widespread in the county. The DNR has been monitoring CWD since it was first detected in the state in 2002.

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A CWD Snapshot in Wisconsin Gained with Help from Hunters