As deer hunters across the state take part in the archery season and look forward to the gun season there’s usually only one thing on their mind…bagging that trophy buck.

But this season, hunters in West Central Wisconsin can help make sure Chronic Wasting Disease doesn’t make its way into our area.

Hunters from the 19-county West Central Region can donate deer heads that’ll be sampled for CWD. The disease was first discovered in 2002 in Southern Wisconsin, and the last time our area was sampled for CWD was in 2003. The Wisconsin DNR says Chronic Wasting Disease is fatal to deer and elk.

“We definitely consider it a threat to the deer heard statewide,” Regional Wildlife Supervisor Bob Michelson said.

But so far, it’s been confined to the southern part of the state.

“Our goal would be to keep it there and then over time, you know, hopefully eradicate it.”

And Michelson says local hunters can help in those efforts. Bow and gun deer hunters can donate adult deer heads for testing. The DNR will then check to make sure CWD hasn’t made its way into our area.

“It’s definitely a disease that can spread and the sooner that it would be located, if it would show up somewhere else in the state, the better,” Michelson said.

Michelson says their goal is to collect 8,000 heads region-wide, and they’ll continue to take them through the end of December if need be.

But what if you’ve bagged your trophy buck and want to mount the head? Michelson says, don’t worry.

“We would not take, you know, a head from a trophy animal if the hunter wanted to keep it,” Michelson said. “There are ways that we can handle that so that the hunter can still mount the deer and we still end up getting the lymph nodes.”

Hunters who donate deer heads for CWD testing will get a chance to win a $500 gift card from Gander Mountain.

If you’d like to learn more about the DNR’s CWD sampling program, including where you can take your deer heads, see below.

Free Chronic Wasting Disease Sampling for Hunters

This year the Wisconsin DNR is collecting and sampling deer heads in West Central Wisconsin as part of an effort to monitor Chronic Wasting Disease.

Participating Counties Include: St. Croix, Pierce, Dunn, Pepin, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, Clark, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, Crawford, Marathon, Wood, Portage, Juneau and Adams

Support CWD surveillance efforts and get a chance to win a $500 gift card from Gander Mountain.

Designated Collection Sites (For Adult Deer Only!)

Eau Claire County

  • Mike’s Star Market, 2238 Heimstead Road, Eau Claire
  • Ogden’s Processing (Customers Only), S12920 Lowes Creek Road, Eleva

*Taxidermists by Appointment Only*

  • Dodge Taxidermy Studio, E10095 408th Avenue, Eau Claire
  • Campbell Taxidermy, W6898 Spehle Road, Eau Claire
  • Kitelinger Taxidermy, S10405 County Road HH/I, Cleghorn

Chippewa County

  • Lotts – a – Meat, 2310 S. Main Street, Bloomer
  • Bob’s Processing, 2430 S. Main Street, Bloomer
  • Shadick’s Price – Rite Foods, 1502 16th Aveune, Bloomer
  • Crescent Meats & Catering LLC, 15332 State Highway 27, Cadott

*Taxidermists by Appointment Only*

  • Vaughn’s Processing, 35663 75th Avenue, Stanley
  • Animals Taxidermy, 5527 171st, Chippewa Falls
  • Perkin’s Taxidermy, 21690 County Trunk E, Cornell
  • Danville Taxidermy, 11576 290th Street, Cadott

Article lookup by year