DODGEVILLE – Hunters are reminded that DNR will not provide drop-off sites for butchered waste or carcasses this year for deer harvested in the chronic wasting disease (CWD) Herd Reduction Zone (HRZ).

Instead, hunters are encouraged to donate excess venison for distribution to food panties around the state.

“We don’t have the money this fall to provide a disposal option in the Herd Reduction Zone and also, to date, our extensive testing has not found CWD in any deer sampled from the HRZ,” said Joe Brusca, regional air and waste leader for DNR’s 11-county South Central Region.

Mr. Brusca is responsible for coordinating the agency’s disposal activities in the CWD management zones.

The HRZ encompasses all or part of 14 deer management units and 15 counties in southern Wisconsin and is a hunting season boundary that surrounds the CWD Intensive Harvest Zone. DNR’s goal is to reduce the deer population low enough in the HRZ to slow the spread of CWD from the core area.

Hunters should refer to page 27 of the 2003 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations pamphlet if they are unsure as to zone boundaries.

This year, hunters in the HRZ have the option of donating venison for distribution to Wisconsin food pantries. At no cost, hunters can donate additional deer that they harvest by delivering them to participating venison processing plants. The venison is butchered and distributed to food panties across the state.

A list of participating processors is kept up to date on the DNR Web site which can be found by using the search button on the site and entering key words “deer donation.” Those without Internet access can call a DNR service center and ask for the closest participating meat locker.

Other options include giving the animals to friends and relatives, disposing of the carcasses at participating landfills or burying the carcasses on the land where the animal was harvested with the property owner’s permission.

Butchered waste can be dropped off at the curb side for regular trash collection, transported to a landfill or buried on the property where harvested with permission from the landowner.