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CWD Found in Wisconsin High-Fence Hunt Operation

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Chronic wasting disease has been found again in a captive deer in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced last week a three-year-old buck killed on the Three Lakes Trophy Ranch in Oneida County tested positive for the fatal neurological disease chronic wasting disease, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The news comes mere weeks after wildlife officials euthanized and destroyed the bodies of an entire captive deer herd consisting of 228 animals at a farm in Eau Claire County after an animal tested positive early in the summer.

The high-fence hunting operation is now the thirteenth such captive deer facility in Wisconsin to have a CWD-positive animal.

As was the case with the Eau Claire facility earlier this year, an immediate ban on feeding deer in a three county area will go into effect in January. Counties affected will include Oneida, Forest and Vilas. CWD is similar to mad cow disease and spreads easily from animal to animal.

There are also concerns the prions that cause the disease can linger and spread long after an animal's death. Michigan is just one of a number of neighboring states taking a hard stand on deer imported from Wisconsin or other confirmed CWD-positive states because of this.

According to their website, Three Lakes Trophy Ranch charges up to $7,500 for hunts for bucks up to 200 inches. The herd contains genetics from Wisconsin and Canadian whitetails. Their website displays photos of many of the overly-large bucks taken there.

While it's uncertain at this point how CWD may have gotten into the facility. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports 77 deer were transferred there since last summer. 53 of these deer came from Canada.

With the news of the killing of the deer in the Eau Claire facility still fresh on the minds of hunters in Wisconsin, it is likely eyes will now be on this facility to see if wildlife officials take a similar approach.

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CWD Found in Wisconsin High-Fence Hunt Operation