DNR says that hunters should test their deer before consumption

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 4:10 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - According to the Wisconsin DNR, there are 62 counties in Wisconsin that have tested positive for CWD, including Eau Claire County. CWD is a contagious, fatal neurological disease that affects deer. The Wisconsin DNR showcases many ways that hunters can test their deer before consuming them.

Since the first detection of chronic waste disease in 2002, the amount of detections have increased in the state of Wisconsin. But Jasmine Batten, DNR Wildlife Health Section Supervisor says that doesn’t mean you should stop hunting.

“One of the most important things that hunters can do is keep hunting. Hunters are our number one defense against CWD deer, and CWD is not a reason for our hunters to stop doing what they love to do. It’s equally important for hunters to learn about how CWD Spreads out so that they can take steps to help reduce spread over time”, says Batten.

According to Batten, health officials say you should not eat venison that has tested positive for CWD and there are options for testing deer.

“Two of our main options for getting your deer sample would be self-service kiosks, and that would be available 24 hours a day where all the tools are there for the hunter to submit their sample. Or we also have staff locations. So those would be at a business where there would be people to help you through the process of getting your deer sample”, says Erin Larson DNR Deer Herd Health Specialist.

Deer carcass with CWD can still spread to other deer, and more dumpsters specifically for these carcasses are being added to each county.

“At this point, there aren’t a lot of dumpsters out. But come October, you’ll start to see a lot more populated on that map. And we will have locations, as mentioned in every county for use of hunters. I do want to encourage you check back frequently on that map for changes. There are certain locations that will only be up later in the season, certain dumpsters that will only be out later in the season”, says Larson.

The current CWD response plan is expiring after 15 years, which means they will take another hard look at what to do next.

“We are very, very concerned about that continued spread. So we will take a holistic look at all the options that there are for addressing CWD and free ranging deer and kind of put everything on the table. So there should be more coming on that within in the next year”, says Batten.

Other services provided for testing CWD is a at-home via lymph node testing where hunters can grab a kit at a kiosk and extract the lymph nodes of the deer and bring it back to the kiosk for testing...Also you can set up appointments with the DNR staff in-person.

Batten says that the new plan is expected to be in place by the 2026 hunting season. They had a Stakeholder Advisory Comittee get together to review and come up with recommendations for the new CWD plan. To find a dumpster near you, check out the DNR website at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/hunt/landfillmap