Wisconsin deer hunters encouraged to get deer tested for CWD

MADISON – Deer hunting seasons are about to begin with archery and crossbow this weekend, and the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters who harvest deer to have adult deer tested for CWD. This is particularly important in areas affected by chronic wasting disease.

The department is utilizing a variety of different approaches to test deer from specific areas of the state, for more information regarding where to take your deer for sampling, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “CWD sampling,” contact local DNR wildlife management staff, or call 888-936-7463.

Hunters are reminded to contact sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation and that surveillance efforts focus on adult deer, since older deer are more likely to have the disease.

“As a leading agency on and having national expertise on CWD response and monitoring white-tailed deer in Wisconsin, DNR wildlife management staff provide testing not only as a service to deer hunters, but as a critically important part of efforts to monitor the distribution and prevalence of the disease,” said Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief.

“The department will continue to have targeted areas where surveillance and sampling is increased and are working closely with select taxidermists throughout the hunting season.

A map of the 2017 CWD sampling area can be found at keyword “CWD.”

If test results come back positive for CWD, hunters should follow advice from the Center for Disease Control, Wisconsin Department of Health Services and World Health Organization to not consume venison from that deer.

CWD sampling is being offered at various locations throughout southern, central and northern Wisconsin including both in-person service as well as self-service options. Self-service kiosks are 24/7 options for hunters to drop off a deer head to be tested for CWD. The on-line registration database now includes within the station type option drop down menu the specification of self-service kiosks in available counties.

Hunters can search for CWD test results individually or view a summary. Hunters will need a customer ID or CWD sample barcode to search for individual results. The average turnaround time from when the deer is brought to a sampling station to when the results are available is about 10 days. For information regarding CWD test results, search keywords “CWD results”.

The cooperation of hunters and private businesses has become increasingly vital to the success of our sampling process. Department staff would like to thank all those who continue to assist with CWD surveillance.