FITCHBURG – Ongoing surveillance by the state Department of Natural Resources has resulted in the detection of three chronic wasting disease (CWD) positive deer outside of the Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ), the state agency announced today.
The three deer were found in Dane, Jefferson and Sauk Counties in the CWD Herd Reduction Zone (HRZ), an area covering all or part of 19 counties which serves as a buffer between the smaller DEZ and the rest of the state.
One is a three-year old doe shot between STH 26 and Lake Koshkonong in Jefferson County. The second is also a three-year old doe shot in Dane County just east of Stoughton while the third is a two-year old doe harvested by a bow hunter right on the DEZ/HRZ border west of Plain in Sauk County.
Finding the three CWD positive deer outside of the DEZ “will not result in a change to the (DEZ) boundary or the hunting season framework this fall,” said Alan Crossley, CWD project leader based at Fitchburg.
“Only after we have concluded our surveillance this fall and winter, during which we aim to sample thousands of deer, and had an opportunity to look at test results, will we be able to begin thinking about our management response in the future,” noted Mr. Crossley.
The DNR biologist pointed out that “we are reaping the benefits of mandatory head collection in Jefferson County, eastern Dane County and elsewhere in terms of building up the sample sizes associated with our surveillance.”
Right now, according to Mr. Crossley, concentrating on more surveillance in these areas, in cooperation with hunters and landowners, is “our best means of trying to better understand the significance of each of these positives.”
“We appreciate the cooperation of hunters and landowners in these areas in continuing to kill deer and bringing them in to be sampled for CWD,” he added.
Since 2002, over 79,500 wild whitetail deer have been tested statewide for CWD with 481 testing positive and all but eight detected in the DEZ, the remainder in the HRZ.
The western DEZ covers 1280 square miles and encompasses much of Iowa County, western Dane County, southern Sauk County and small sections of Columbia, Green, Lafayette and Richland Counties.
The eastern DEZ covers 462 square miles and includes roughly the southeast quarter of Rock County, almost half of Walworth County and a small section of Racine County.
Persons interested in the latest information on CWD in Wisconsin can visit the DNR Web site at: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/whealth/issues/CWD/index.htm