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Wild deer in Vilas County tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, first for the county


A wild deer in Vilas County tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The Wisconsin DNR confirms the deer was harvested in the Town of Lincoln in Vilas County. This is the first confirmed wild positive case of CWD in Vilas County.

Following state law, the DNR will renew a three-year baiting and feeding ban in Vilas County as well as a two-year ban in Forest county, as the deer was harvested within 10 miles of the county line. Oneida County is also within 10 miles of the Vilas positive’s harvest location but is already under a longer three-year baiting and feeding ban due to a positive CWD detection at a game farm earlier this year.

The DNR asks deer hunters in Vilas, Forest and Oneida counties to assist with efforts to identify where CWD occurs. Those harvesting deer within 10 miles of the newly detected positive case are especially encouraged to have their harvested adult deer tested for CWD. Collecting CWD samples is essential for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state.

The DNR will work with Vilas County Deer Advisory Council members to schedule a meeting in January to discuss response actions. Members of the public will be invited to attend this meeting and will have the opportunity to provide input.

CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state's wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.

Information on how to have deer tested during the 2020-21 hunting seasons is available here.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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