DEERFIELD, Wis. – Chronic wasting disease surveillance efforts have detected a CWD-positive wild white-tailed deer in eastern Dane County, Department of Natural Resources officials report.

The DNR increased surveillance in southeast Wisconsin this deer hunting season to get a better sense of the geographic distribution and prevalence of CWD in that portion of the state.

The 2-year-old buck was shot by a bow-hunter in Deerfield Township, about 1 mile west of the Dane/Jefferson county line.

“Based on the pattern of CWD positives to date, I was not necessarily expecting this one,” said Alan Crossley, the DNR’s CWD Project Leader. “Our goal this fall was to significantly increase CWD sampling in the southeast part of the state to better define the geographic distribution of the disease in that area. We have to keep looking for the disease, but it is certainly a disappointment when we find it.”

“At first blush, it still appears to fit the more scattered pattern of disease distribution we have seen in northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, rather than the tight pattern of disease distribution in the western DEZ,” added Mr. Crossley. “The deer habitat in the southeast part of the state is widely scattered and fragmented which seems to result in positive deer being found in a more scattered pattern across the landscape.

“We are still waiting on test results for about 1,800 deer that were sampled this fall and winter. Once we have most of the test results back we will be in a better position to assess the impacts that this positive deer and any others we may find will have on our CWD management strategy.

“Finding this positive deer reinforces our resolve to keep up a rigorous surveillance effort as well as continue our efforts to control this disease before it spreads elsewhere in the state,” said Mr. Crossley.

More CWD information and test results are available at dnr.wi.gov, click on “Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin.”