Will result in baiting and feeding ban extension for Oneida County; bans enacted in Lincoln and Langlade counties
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reporting it has received confirmation that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in northeast Lincoln County. The two-year-old buck harvested in northeast Lincoln County is the first confirmed positive deer in this county.
As required by law, this finding will establish a three-year baiting and feeding ban for Lincoln County and a two-year ban in Langlade county effective Feb. 1, 2018. Oneida County is already under baiting and feeding bans and those bans will be renewed with this newest detection.
Oneida and Langlade are included in the ban because the affected deer was harvested within ten miles of those county’s borders.
“The bans are dictated by state statute,” said Mike Zeckmeister, DNR District Wildlife Management Supervisor. “We don’t have any leeway on that.”
Prior to last August, Zeckmeister said, once a baiting and feeding ban was enacted, there was no end date. The state legislature added sunset clauses to limit the number of months counties are under the ban, based on the date of the last confirmed case of CWD.
“This latest discovery is troublesome and is something we take very seriously,” said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. “We will start a dialogue with the local community through the County Deer Advisory Council on what steps should be taken next. While there is no silver bullet remedy to eradicate CWD, we have learned from experience that having the local community involved is a key factor in managing this disease.”
The DNR will also take the following steps:
- Establish a 10-mile radius disease surveillance area around this positive location
- Conduct surveillance activities to assess disease distribution and prevalence including:
- Encourage reporting of sick deer
- Sample vehicle-killed adult deer
- Sample adult deer harvested under agricultural damage permits
- Sample adult deer harvested under urban deer hunts in the area
- Establish additional CWD sampling locations prior to the 2018 deer seasons
These actions are a very important next step in further understanding the potential geographic distribution of the disease and if other animals are infected within Wisconsin’s deer herd in the area.
As has been demonstrated in the past in other parts of the state, local citizen involvement in the decision-making process as well as management actions to address this CWD detection will have the greatest potential for success.
For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin, and how to have adult deer tested during the 2018/2019 hunting seasons, visit the department’s website, dnr.wi.gov, and search “bait and feeding” and “CWD sampling” respectively.