ARGYLE – Two chronic wasting disease (CWD) positive deer were identified recently in the northeast corner of Lafayette County just outside the western CWD Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ) boundary, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.
One deer, a three-year old buck was shot by a hunter in Argyle Township four miles north of the Village of Argyle. The second positive deer was a two-year old doe that bedded down and died overnight near a home two miles north of Argyle. The landowner reported that the deer looked emaciated and in poor condition the night before it died. The landowner contacted a local warden who arrived to find the deer dead the next morning.
The two are the first CWD-positive deer detected in Lafayette County and were found about four miles south of the DEZ and about six miles from several other positive deer in the Hollandale area.
To date, 1014 deer have been tested for CWD in Lafayette County over the past three years, including 405 so far during the 2004-2005 hunting season.
“One of the Department’s surveillance aims in the CWD Zones is to better describe the distribution of the disease,” noted DNR wildlife biologist Bruce Folley, Janesville.
“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. Folley.
“We really appreciate the cooperation we got from hunters across southern and southwest Wisconsin in helping us to collect samples from adult deer,” he said.
The biologist also emphasized that it is “noteworthy” a positive deer was found thanks to an alert citizen observing a sick looking deer and immediately contacting agency personnel.
“Checking sick deer for CWD is a very important part of the CWD surveillance program,” added Mr. Folley. “If you see a sickly looking deer, contact your local DNR conservation warden or biologist. They may authorize you to kill the suspect animal or if you aren’t a hunter, they may come out and harvest the deer.”
DNR is proposing an expansion of the western DEZ boundary into northeast Lafayette County and northwest Green County around the two positives.
More CWD information and test results are available at dnr.wi.gov, click on “Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin.”