MADISON – A 3-year-old buck harvested in Adams County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. The deer, harvested and volunteered for sampling by an archery hunter, is the first CWD-positive in the county.
“Being the first CWD positive in the county makes this noteworthy, but not unexpected,” said DNR area wildlife supervisor Kris Johansen. “We have been collecting samples in the county given its proximity to the south central Wisconsin core of infection and to CWD-positive deer on a former captive deer farm in the area.”
The DNR has been using a “weighted” testing strategy outside the CWD zone, focusing on older bucks because these animals are more susceptible to the disease. This increases the probability of early detection. The CWD-positive deer was harvested in north-central Adams County, south of Lake Arrowhead and east of Petenwell Flowage. This is 38 miles north of nearest known CWD-positive wild deer and about 25 miles from a former captive deer farm that had been infected with the disease.
Sampling of deer in Adams County is voluntary and is performed in partnership with participating taxidermists. To date, DNR has collected 72 samples through the voluntary effort and will continue to collect samples through the end of the late archery hunt.
Adams County bow hunters interested in volunteering deer for sampling can contact Jon Robaidek, local DNR biologist at 608-339-4819 or DNR conservation warden Wade Romberg at 608-339-2965 for more information.
“We thank all hunters who have brought deer in for voluntary CWD testing and the taxidermists who helped us collect samples,” Johansen said. “This cooperation is needed to identify presence of the disease and track prevalence.”
This sampling result does not change any remaining hunting seasons nor does it change the current CWD management zone boundary. Baiting and feeding of deer, as well as deer rehabilitation, is already banned in the county.
DNR will process all CWD samples collected in Adams County from the 2012 deer hunting season. Future response to this new positive will be addressed once all results are analyzed. “We will keep the public informed and involved as we learn more,” Johansen said.
For more information on CWD in Wisconsin, and to view CWD maps, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search for “CWD.”