PLAIN – A chronic wasting disease (CWD) positive deer was identified recently in Sauk County just outside the western CWD Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ) boundary, the Department of Natural Resources announced today. The 1 ½ year old doe was shot by a hunter west of Plain in the Town of Franklin, about one-half mile north of County Highway B, the road which marks the boundary between the DEZ to the south and the much larger CWD Herd Reduction Zone (HRZ) to the north.

This is the third CWD-positive deer detected in Sauk County and the northernmost positive deer found in the county. The previous two were shot near the Lower Wisconsin River. “ One of the Department’s surveillance aims in the CWD Zones is to better describe the distribution of the disease,” noted DNR wildlife biologist Bill Ishmael, Spring Green. “It is only by looking hard and testing large numbers of deer that we are able to better understand the geographic distribution of CWD in southwest Wisconsin,” pointed out Mr. Ishmael. To date, 4,018 deer have been tested for CWD in Sauk County over the past three years, including 458 so far in 2004. The new positive will not affect CWD management zone boundaries or hunting seasons for the remainder of the 2004 deer season. “Once we have all the test results back from the sampling done this fall and winter, we will be in a better position to assess the impact that this positive deer and any others we may find will have on our CWD management strategy,” said Mr. Ishmael. “We really appreciate the cooperation we are getting from hunters across southern and southwest Wisconsin as we continue to collect samples from adult deer,” he added.

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