Nine more cases of a fatal deer disease have been confirmed in northern Illinois, wildlife officials announced Tuesday.
Eight of the deer were taken by hunters during last month’s second firearm season. The ninth was killed by a state Department of Natural Resources sharpshooter in Winnebago County as part of the agency’s chronic wasting disease sampling program.
Six of the new hunter-harvested cases were from the area near the Winnebago-Boone county line, where the first CWD deer was found in fall 2002. The other two came from DeKalb County, which had its first confirmed case this fall.
Illinois has 39 confirmed CWD cases, the majority of which have been in Winnebago and Boone counties.
The DNR planned to test about 4,500 hunter-harvested deer this season. The state labs still have about 1,000 tests to conduct.
“We’ve got quite a long way to go,” DNR spokeswoman Carol Knowles said.
She said tests were completed on deer killed during the firearm seasons in counties where CWD had been found, but the labs were still working on hundreds of deer taken in Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Carroll counties.
DNR sharpshooters have killed 125 deer during recent weeks in Winnebago and Boone counties for testing.
The state labs also are testing deer killed by sharpshooters in the Winnebago County Forest Preserves. Knowles said those results weren’t yet available. A total of 100 deer had been killed in the preserves as of Tuesday.