State CWD testing efforts focused on Northeast Wisconsin

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 3:09 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - During the upcoming gun deer season successful hunters throughout Northeast Wisconsin are being asked to test their deer for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Over the past several years, the state’s CWD testing efforts have heightened and taken a more regional approach.

“We did West-Central two years ago, it was the northern part of the state last year, it’s Northeast Wisconsin’s turn this year,” says DNR District Wildlife Biologist Jeff Pritzl.

And that’s a good thing says Pritzl, because since Chronic Wasting Disease was first discovered in deer in Southwest Wisconsin in 2002, it’s continued to creep closer.

“The timing is good because unfortunately last year we had our first positive in the region in Sheboygan County, the year before that we had Marquette County,” says Pritzl.

The DNR’s goal is to sample 300 deer per county in Northeast Wisconsin.

“Some counties have been able to reach 300 in one year and other counties it takes two years, and statistically it’s ok for us to use two years worth of harvest to get there, the bottom line is for every additional sample we can get, it increases our ability and confidence to say CWD is not present in this county,” says Pritzl.

In Sheboygan County, near Plymouth, where the one positive was detected, testing will be intensive.

“Ideally we’d get three or four hundred samples just within that 10 miles radius so that we can get a better handle on the infection rate, it it is there,” says Pritzl.

To accommodate hunters, the DNR has several self-service kiosks throughout each county where deer heads can be dropped off.

The DNR says a new phone app can streamline the process during deer registration.

The CWD test is free and hunters will be asked for a little patience in getting results.

“The reality is because of our own Covid management, and at a processing lab the turn-around time on getting the test results back, which we’ve really prided ourselves on in the past at being less than two weeks, might be in that 2-3 week category,” advises Pritzl.

CLICK HERE to learn how to have your deer sampled for CWD.

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