DNR offers robust statewide CWD testing, new online form for hunters
In cooperation with local businesses, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff will collect deer heads for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing during the 2020 hunting seasons. The health of the deer herd relies on commitment from hunters.
Testing for CWD is available to hunters statewide. This year, hunters in northwestern and northeastern Wisconsin are strongly encouraged to participate in the department’s effort to map where CWD occurs throughout the state.
The counties with heightened focus in northwestern Wisconsin are Taylor, Ashland, Bayfield, Barron, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Rusk and Sawyer.
“This fall in particular, CWD testing by hunters in northwestern and northeastern Wisconsin will be crucial in our effort to understand where CWD occurs in our state,” said Andrea Kamps, DNR wildlife health conservation specialist.
“Every last sample counts, so if you’re hunting in one of these counties, make sure to visit us online to find the most convenient sampling location near you.”
Josh Spiegel, the DNR’s wildlife biologist for Taylor, Rusk and Sawyer counties said Taylor County is about halfway to the DNR’s goal of 300 samples over a two-year period.
“I believe we’re in the ballpark of about 150 or so from last year,” he said. “If we can produce a similar number (this year), it’d be great.”
Recent CWD-positive cases in the Chippewa Valley area have spurred the need for increased sampling from deer harvested in Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin and Trempealeau counties. Hunters who harvest deer in Marathon, Lincoln and Oneida counties are also encouraged to have their deer tested to monitor for CWD around recent positives there.
“Hunters who haven’t had their deer tested before might be concerned about the time involved or just not know what to expect when having their deer tested,” Kamps said. “We offer a variety of ways for hunters to participate, letting them choose the route that’s most convenient for them.”
New this year, hunters have a digital option for entering their CWD testing in-
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formation when visiting one of the hundreds of self-service and in-person sampling stations around the state. Successful hunters will find a unique link to the online form in their harvest registration confirmation email or in their Go Wild harvest history.
CWD sampling locations
Hunters have several options available to have their deer sampled for CWD and all locations can be found on the DNR website at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/ WildlifeHabitat/registersample.html. The web page includes an interactive map with sampling locations available in your area and there is also a searchable database available as an alternative to the map view.
In addition to a network of 24/7 self-service sampling stations (also called kiosks) around the state, many meat processors and businesses offer in-person sampling assistance. Hunters should contact staffed sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation.
No matter how hunters submit samples, they need to have their deer harvest authorization number, DNR customer number, current contact information and the location of harvest. It’s imperative that the contact information is there in case DNR officials have questions. In this area, Spiegel said it typically takes a week or two to get results.
“It’s all explained on the kiosk itself,” Spiegel said. “There’s a step-by-step process they can follow. Everything they’ll need is there except for the deer head itself. Usually what they do is cut off about 4-6 inches of the neck below the jaw line and they leave that in a black baggie. There will then be a test kit that they’ll fill the information out. When they grab their CWD test kit there will be a six-digit number that their kit will be assigned to and they search based off that number or their DNR customer ID number.”
Following is a list of area CWD options that were available as of Nov. 4, according to the Department of Natural Resources website.
Taylor County CWD sampling self-service kiosks
_ Medford DNR Ranger Station, 200 Bauer Drive, available 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Rib Lake Cenex, 1302 State Hwy 102, store open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Sheldon Northwoods Country Store, store open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. kiosk open 24 hours, assistance may be available during store hours.
Clark County CWD sampling self-service kiosks
_ Rock Creek Disabled Outdoors, W9120 Rock Creek Road, Willard, kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Apple Valley Bar and Grill, 415 W. US Hwy 10, Neillsville, kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Neillsville DNR Ranger Station, 610 East Division Street, has a dumpster for deer carcass waste.
Chippewa County CWD sampling self-service kiosks
_ Bob’s Processing, 2430 S. Main Street, Bloomer, kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Cornell DNR Ranger Station, 117 S. Riverside Drive, kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration. The station also has a dumpster for deer carcass waste.
_ Jacobson’s Hardware, 17168 County Hwy J, Chippewa Falls, kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
Marathon County CWD sampling and disposal options
_ Wausau DNR Service Center, 5301 Rib Mountain Drive, self-service kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Whitetail Crossing Convenience Store, N7217 US Hwy 45, Wittenberg, kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Jim’s Venison Processing, 118 E. Wood Avenue, Wittenberg. Kiosk open 24 hours. Hunters must have completed electronic registration. CWD sampling with assistance also available.
_ Mead Wildlife Area Headquarters, Milladore, CWD sampling by appointment only. Hunters must have completed electronic registration. Call 715-457-6771 for information.
_ Brad Krueger, N391 County Hwy D, Birnamwood, CWD sampling by appointment only. Hunters must have completed electronic registration. Call 715-881-0084 for more information.
_ Mama’s Place, 9312 Main Street, Wittenberg, 24hour kiosk, plus CWD sampling with assistance available. Business hours 11 a.m. to 10 p.m weekdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Closed on Tuesdays. Hunters must have completed electronic registration.
_ Superior Taxidermy, 9710 Camp Phillips Road, Weston, CWD sampling available with assistance. Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment. Call 715-359-0557 for information.
_ Marathon County Bluebird Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility, R18500 Hwy 29, Ringle. Landfill accepts deer carcass waste. Facility open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 to 11 a.m. A 24hour notification is required for loads greater than four carcasses. This is not a CWD sampling or registration station.