FITCHBURG, Wis. – The Department of Natural Resources recently completed an aerial count of deer in the 411-square-mile chronic wasting disease (CWD) Eradication Zone, and the agency is looking to release the results within the next couple of weeks.

“We’re crunching the numbers right now,” noted DNR South Central Region public affairs manager Greg Matthews in referring to the aerial survey conducted in February and March.

On a related note, agency staff have been busy answering questions both in the Dodgeville and Spring Green areas generated by the spreading of “misinformation” that DNR used helicopters in Wyoming Township for driving and shooting deer, according to Mr. Matthews.

County and township officials were notified prior to the aerial survey, news releases were sent to area media and “we went out of our way to try and get the word out that an aerial deer count was going to be conducted by helicopters in the CWD Eradication Zone,” said Mr. Matthews.

“People have a right to criticize government, but with this opposition goes the responsibility to provide sound information, not exaggerated claims that test the bounds of human truthfulness,” added the public affairs manager.

DNR frequently uses helicopters and other aircraft for wildlife population surveys, such as counting bald eagles and trumpeter swan nests. Pilots generally fly high enough to avoid spooking the animals since it only makes counting more difficult when the deer are moving about.

The following counties are in the South Central Region: Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk.