Milwaukee, Wis.– The Department of Natural Resources will continue testing deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Racine and Kenosha counties this fall. “We fell short of our sampling goal last year and we hope to improve our sampling size during this fall’s hunting season,” said Marty Johnson, local wildlife manager.
Last fall the Department conducted surveillance in all counties of the state. This year, CWD testing will continue in the CWD zones in southwestern Wisconsin and also in select counties where sampling goals were not met.
Johnson noted that the success of the Department’s efforts will again depend on the cooperation of area deer hunters. “Local hunters were very cooperative last year. This year we want to make better progress on our sampling, and hunter participation will be essential to our success. Hunters may not be concerned about the individual deer they harvest, but each and every deer head is significant for our surveillance purposes.”
Throughout the fall hunting seasons, bow and gun deer hunters may register and donate heads from adult deer harvested in Racine and Kenosha Counties at the following locations during normal business hours:
- Wild Images, 5821 S. Pine Street, Burlington, Racine Co.
- Richard Bong Rec. Area, 2313 Burlington Road, Kansasville, Kenosha Co. (262)878-5600
- DNR Service Center, 9531 Rayne Road, Sturtevant, Racine Co. (262)-884-2300
Call ahead to check if staff is available to help with head removal; otherwise, hunters can drop off heads at the DNR service center in Sturtevant on weekdays between 8:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. When removing the head, hunters should cut in the middle of the neck away from the base of the deer skull. Heads must be kept cool and brought in within three days.
In addition, after hunters register their deer they can donate the deer heads at Artisan Taxidermy, 140 E. Chestnut Street in Burlington.
If deer meet the criteria for testing, the station attendants will assist with the sample collection process. Criteria are: 1) deer must be harvested in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine, Waukesha or Walworth Counties; 2) deer must be brought in for testing within 18 hours of harvest; and 3) adult deer only – fawns will not be accepted. Hunters who harvest bucks will be able to take their antlers with skull plates attached. Deer heads may also be collected after being caped out by taxidermists provided they have been kept cool and are brought in within three days.
“We are hopeful that landowners who allow hunting will pass the word on to those who have permission to hunt their land,” Johnson said, adding “it’s important that we get the word out to hunters who have access to these lands.
“In addition to help from hunters, citizens are asked to contact their local wildlife biologist or conservation warden about any sick-looking deer they may see so that the deer can be tested for CWD. This includes any adult deer that is very skinny and exhibits abnormal behavior such as, little fear of people, inability to walk, disorientation, or other signs of nervous system disease.”
More information on CWD can be found on the Department’s website at: www.dnr.state.wi.us.