FITCHBURG – Hunters are reminded that they must allow the Department of Natural Resources to collect deer heads for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing, if requested by agency staff.

DNR will be sampling adult deer – no fawns – Nov. 20-21 at 15 locations in the CWD Herd Reduction Zone (HRZ). The HRZ is a buffer area placed around the CWD Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ) where the goal is to reduce the population to 10 deer per square mile of deer range in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease.

The agency is also committed to sampling many adult deer in the DEZ, where gun hunting began on Oct. 28 and continues through Jan. 3, 2005.

“Continuing disease surveillance of the wild deer herd through sampling and testing is a key component of the Department’s effort to eradicate CWD in Wisconsin,” noted DNR wildlife biologist Alan Crossley, Fitchburg, in explaining the rationale behind collecting deer heads in and adjacent to the DEZ.

“Surveillance helps us to monitor the geographic distribution and prevalence of CWD,” pointed out Mr. Crossley.

Arrangements can be made if a hunter wishes to get a European or Taxidermy Head Mount. Staff at DNR collection stations will also skull cap the antlers at the hunter’s request.

“We understand that asking hunters to submit a trophy head for testing can be a huge sacrifice, so that’s why we have put in place a mechanism to get their deer mounted and at the same time allows us to get the sample we need after the taxidermist has completed work,” added Mr. Crossley