DNR asking for hunters’ help in checking for CWD - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

DNR asking for hunters’ help in checking for CWD


Eau Claire (WQOW)- With the gun deer opener just two days away, the DNR is on the lookout for chronic wasting disease.

"It's our belief that we caught this disease relatively early," says Wildlife Ecologist Mike Zehmeister.

Last year, a deer with CWD was found in the Shell Lake area.  The disease can be a killer to the deer population because it can spread easily through saliva, urine, or feces.

"Since the deer was confirmed as having CWD, the staff up there has been trying to get samples from road kills, from landowners who would cooperate," says Wildlife Supervisor Kris Belling.  "But the gun deer season is going to far and away be the best opportunity to get samples."

"I myself will be down in Shell Lake," Zehmeister reveals.  "We'll be collecting lymph node samples."

"The goal is to do some fairly intensive sampling within 10 miles of where that initial CWD positive was," Belling explains.  "So certainly folks that are within that 10 mile radius, we would strongly encourage you to get your deer into a registration in that area and allow us to get a sample from the deer."

The DNR's goal is to collect 1,000 samples from that 10-mile radius.  About 200 samples have already been collected.

"Of all the test results that did come back, everything has been negative so far, which is a good sign.  But we still need a lot more samples," says Zehmeister.

The DNR is also asking hunters to bury deer carcasses from that area at least three feet underground to prevent scavengers from potentially spreading CWD.

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