For years Northern Wisconsin had luckily, for the most part, been free of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), but it eventually made its way to the Northwoods.
Last year it was found in two deer from the wild herd in south central Oneida County near the Lincoln County border in the town of Crescent.
It has also been reported in multiple deer in a game farm near Three Lakes.
And while compared to the southern part of the state, these instances are few, but they still pose a serious threat to the northern deer herd.
Therefore, in an effort to control the spread of CWD and keep the north relatively CWD free, hunters are strongly encouraged to get their deer tested this year.
In cooperation with some local businesses, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be collecting deer heads to be tested for CWD at various locations throughout Northern Wisconsin.
In Iron, Vilas, and Oneida County there are sampling locations that offer assistance while others are self-serve kiosks.
To drop off samples at places that offer assistance go to the Mercer Ranger Station, the Woodruff DNR service center, TJ’s Butcher Block in Minocqua, Prime Choice Meat Market in Eagle River, and Lake Tomahawk Meat Market.
For 24/7 self-serve drop-off kiosks, go to Dietz’s Phillip 66 in Manitowish Waters, Town of Boulder Junction Town Shop, the Eagle River Ranger Station, the Three Lakes Shell Station, and the Rhinelander DNR service center.
An adequate sample requires a deer head with 3-5 inches of neck attached. It is the deer’s lymph nodes that are tested.
Antlers can be removed prior to drop off and if a full head mount was desired, hunters can contact their local DNR wildlife biologist to extract lymph nodes and keep the head in tact for mounting.
A hunters harvest authorization number, harvest location, and contact information are required with the sample.
The only way to contain CWD is to know where it is and the DNR is making it real easy this year for hunters to help find that out.
For more information on CWD sampling visit dnr.wi.gov and keyword search “CWD sampling.”
Jacob Friede may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]