As spring thaw occurs and more wildlife are visible on the landscape in search of food, residents and hunters of Washington County are reminded that they are now included in the ban on baiting and feeding of white-tailed deer.

This ban, put in place by the Department of Natural Resources, is in accordance with existing state law, due to the discovery of two deer in Waukesha County that tested positive for chronic wasting disease in 2013.

Washington County is within a 10-mile radius of the northernmost Waukesha County property on which a CWD-positive deer was found. State law requires that counties within a 10-mile radius of a game farm or free-ranging CWD-positive deer are included in the baiting and feeding prohibition.

“Baiting and feeding of deer unnecessarily increases the risk of spreading CWD and other diseases,” said Tom Hauge, director of the DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management. “Animal health is important to preserving our great hunting tradition, is a foundation of tourism and vital to local businesses.”

Baiting and feeding increase risks of spreading communicable diseases, like CWD, by concentrating deer in one spot. Deer using one spot are more at risk for spreading a disease.

No changes are planned for the 2013 deer hunting season rules in the affected counties other than the ban on baiting and feeding, said Hauge.

Hunters will be asked to provide tissue samples from deer killed in the vicinity of the CWD- positive deer for further surveillance testing. Samples may also be collected from road kills, urban deer removal programs, taxidermists, and meat processors. Details of the sampling and testing program will be shared widely in subsequent news releases and at dnr.wi.gov, search keyword “CWD,” as the details are finalized.

Individuals can still feed birds and small mammals provided the feeding devices are at a sufficient height or design to prevent access by deer and the feeding device is within 50 yards of a human dwelling. For more information, please visit dnr.wi.gov, search keyword “CWD.”

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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