NEW INFORMATION: Possibly diseased captive deer on the loose in Eau Claire County

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EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- The search is on in Eau Claire for two possibly diseased deer.

They escaped from an infected breeding farm last and the concern is it could spread, impacting the state's herd.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible neurological disease that affects deer.

It produces lesions in the brains of infected animals that leads to the loss of body condition, behavioral abnormalities and death.

Wildlife biologist Bill Hogseth said CWD is only a danger to the deer population.

“There's no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to human beings from deer,” explained Hogseth

Hogseth said it's important to stop the spread of CWD before it infects wild herds of deer.

In June the DNR was notified of a captive whitetail deer inside an Eau Claire County breeding farm with CWD.

“Before that positive test result came in, in May at that same facility, a tree fell over the fence on the farm and caused a breech and multiple deer escaped from the facility,” explained Hogseth.

Hogseth said the department has recovered all but two bucks out of the 20 escaped deer.

Hogseth said, “From the DNR's perspective we view those two bucks that are still at large as a health risk to the wild deer herd in that area due to the new occurrence of CWD on that farm.”

Hogseth said at this point the DNR isn't positive whether or not the two deer have CWD but said the department wants to capture them as soon as possible so it doesn't spread to other wild herds of deer.

“If and when they are removed they will be tested for CWD to see if they are positive or not,” added Hogseth.

However he said it’s still important they're caught quickly, so the department is asking landowners near Fairchild and Augusta to check trail cameras for images of the deer.

“We would like to have these deer captured as soon as possible. The sooner that they're off the landscape the better,” said Hogseth.

Hogseth said yellow plastic ear tags are most likely to be on the two escaped deer but asks that any deer with an ear tag be reported to the DNR.


The state Department of Natural Resources is requesting the help of residents of Fairchild and Augusta and the surrounding areas to be on the lookout for two escaped ear-tagged captive white-tailed deer from a local captive deer facility.

On June 24 the Department of Agriculture, Trade, & Consumer Protection announced a captive white-tailed deer from a breeding farm in Eau Claire County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

In early May, the farm owner reported that multiple captive bucks escaped the facility when a tree fell on the fence causing a breach. Most of the escaped bucks were recovered with two still remaining out on the landscape.

"We need landowners and the public to be on the lookout for any deer that appear to have an ear tag. These captive escapes are a potential health risk to the local wild deer herd and should be removed from the landscape," said DNR wildlife biologist Bill Hogseth.

Landowners are asked to check trail camera images for any ear-tagged deer. The DNR would like to be notified if you record any images of ear-tagged deer or if you observe any. While yellow plastic ear-tags like the one pictured are most common and likely to be on these two bucks, please report any deer tagged with any size, shape or color of ear-tag.

If it is after hours, or a biologist isn't available please contact the department's hotline at 1-800-847-9367. The information will be forwarded to the local conservation warden.

Anyone interested in learning more about CWD in Wisconsin can search the DNR website,, for keyword "CWD").

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