Two deer harvested in Portage and Juneau counties during the recent gun-deer hunt have tested positive for the fatal deer disease known as CWD — chronic wasting disease. Department of Natural Resources scientists say these are the first positive CWD cases in the wild deer populations in both counties.

The two CWD-positive deer were harvested on November 18 and sampled by DNR staff. The Portage County positive was a 1.5-year-old doe, harvested in deer management unit 57A, which is close to the Mead Wildlife Area. The central Juneau County deer was a 4- to 5-year-old buck, harvested in deer management unit deer management unit 54B, which is less than two miles from the CWD management zone boundary.

These sampling results do not change the remaining days of the late archery hunting season nor does it change the current CWD management zone boundary. Sampling of deer in Juneau and Portage Counties is voluntary and will continue through the end of the late archery hunt, January 6. Juneau County-area bow hunters interested in having their deer sampled are encouraged to contact Jon Robaidek, local DNR biologist at 608-339-4819. Portage County area bow hunters can contact the Mead Wildlife Area office for more information, 715-457-6771. Baiting and feeding of deer, as well as deer rehabilitation, are already banned in these counties.

The DNR thanks all hunters who have brought deer in for voluntary CWD testing, and says this cooperation is essential for detecting and tracking the prevalence of this disease.

For more information on CWD in Wisconsin, and to view CWD maps, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search for “CWD.”

Image courtesy Wisconsin DNR

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