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Wisconsin DNR urges hunters to send deer samples in for CWD testing

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In 2001, three white-tailed deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease near the borders of Iowa and Dane counties.

Slowly, the deadly disease has spread in wild deer populations throughout southern Wisconsin.

Now, it’s making its way north.

In the last five years, deer from Oneida, Lincoln, and Marathon County have tested positive.

While it’s not as nearly as prevalent in deer herds in Northern Wisconsin, DNR Deer Program Specialist Jeff Pritzl says they constantly need to be thinking towards the future.

“What that means as far as knowing what to do now or being willing to take the steps to give the next generation’s deer hunters the best chance to have the quality experience that we’ve all had for decades. There’s a number of ramifications and ripple effects as it relates to CWD management that have other connections,” said Pritzl.

Pritzl says hunting is one of the DNR’s best management tools for the deer herds.

The DNR is encouraging hunters to submit their kills for CWD testing.

Deer harvested in any county can be submitted for testing, but the DNR is especially interested in the northeast region of the state.

“Every test result is equally important. Those tests that are coming back as not detected and also those that come back as positive. Every test result that we get out there helps us better understand the distribution of CWD in the state,” said Amanda Kamps, DNR Wildlife Health Conservation Specialist.

There are couple ways to get your deer tested.

You can use the DNR’s self-service kiosks throughout the state, some businesses like meat processors and taxidermists work with the DNR to test for CWD, and you can also order an at-home sampling kit.

“Regardless of method a hunter chooses to use to submit a CWD sample, we are encouraging hunters to use our online Go Wild option to submit all of the data or the information that’s required for every sample. This online option as new last year. We made a couple changes so it is available to every hunter,” said Kamps.

You can learn more about CWD testing on the DNR’s website.

Results typically come back 10 to 14 days.

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