Is it Time to Pay Wisconsin Hunters for Harvesting CWD-Infected Deer?


Wisconsin is apparently kicking around the idea to pay hunters $1,000 for harvesting CWD-infected deer.

It’s tough to deny the impact that chronic wasting disease is having on deer herds in the United States – unless you’re Ted Nugent – and Wisconsin in particular has been hit harder than any other state.

Now, a grassroots effort is being made to combat the deadly disease by offering incentives to hunters for eliminating infected deer.

The plan, which was proposed by DNR biologist Mike Foy, offers hunters up to $1,000 if they successfully harvest deer infected with CWD in high-impact areas.

Foy, who was a DNR biologist in Wisconsin for 30 years, reportedly said the state has largely abandoned efforts to control the disease, choosing instead to monitor it’s spread through voluntary testing.

Sure, this plan would undoubtedly draw some interest. However, a plan like this also comes with a lot of unanswered questions. Perhaps the most important being: is it good for the overall health of the deer population?

“To just randomly shoot animals and hope to reduce prevalence, you have to shoot more than half the deer every year,” said Mike Samuel, a professor at Wisconsin-Madison added. “The deer population can’t sustain that. They can sustain about a third of it, is our potential.”

So now we ask you, would you partake in a plan to target CWD-infected deer if the state was offering such cash rewards?

It might be tough to pass up, and I love deer hunting as much as the next hunter, but with a lack of supporting evidence that it would actually reduce prevalence, it’s a pass for me.

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