The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that two wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Monroe County during the fall 2021 hunting season.
The two deer were adult bucks harvested in the towns of Ridgeville and Glendale. These are the first confirmed wild positive cases of CWD in Monroe County.
As required by state law, the DNR enacts three-year baiting and feeding bans in counties where CWD has been detected and two-year bans in adjoining counties that lie within 10 miles of a CWD detection. Following state law, the DNR will renew a three-year baiting and feeding ban in Monroe County.
Baiting or feeding deer encourages them to congregate unnaturally around a shared food source, where sick deer can spread CWD through direct contact with healthy deer or by leaving behind infectious prions in their bodily secretions.
The DNR asks deer hunters in Monroe County to assist with efforts to identify where CWD occurs. Those harvesting deer within 10 miles of the newly detected positive case are especially encouraged to have their harvested adult deer tested for CWD. Collecting CWD samples is essential for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state.
Information on how to have deer tested during the 2021-2022 hunting seasons is available at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/registersample.html.
The DNR will hold a virtual informational meeting on Thursday, Feb. 3, from 6–8 p.m. to discuss CWD in Monroe County. Members of the public are invited to attend this meeting and will have the opportunity to provide input.
CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state’s wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.
The informational meeting will be available on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81891960967. To join by phone call 833-548-0282 (meeting ID: 818 9196 0967).