More CWD Reported, But More Hunters Reporting Too
Twice as many positive tests came in this past year as the state took samples from deer to check for Chronic Wasting Disease.
More than a thousand positive samples were tested, up from more than 500 year the year before. More than 17,000 deer were sampled and tested in 2018, compared to 9,800 the prior year. Most of the positive detections were primarily within the most heavily infested area in southern Wisconsin.
But DNR wildlife health section chief, Tami Ryan says there are many reasons for the increase, including more hunter interest and giving more samples to test. She says hunters want to make sure their venison is good.
She says the disease is most abundant in southern Wisconsin..
"...This year, and not unlike the majority of years where the majority of CWD samples come from. It's the area of the state where the disease was first detected. It's the area of the state where we've been tracking the increasing trends and distribution. An increasing trend is the number of positive deer...."
Since 2002, more than 227,000 deer have been sampled statewide with over 5,200 testing positive. Ryan says self-serve kiosks and enhanced communication and outreach efforts have increased hunter awareness.
She says the DNR has information on the website that helps hunters keep from spreading the disease...
"...There's things in there like contemplating the use of scents, for example, potentially using products that are synthetic or not made from deer urine as an example. Another would be considering not baiting and feeding, even in areas of the state where there is no ban..."
She says ATV owners can help by making sure their vehicles are not carrying debris from one spot to another and to powerwash the vehicle. The DNR website has more information on CWD and prevention. We have a link here.