CWD detection in a wild deer in Eau Claire County will result in a renewal of the baiting and feeding ban

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in western Eau Claire County, near the town of Brunswick.

As required by law, this finding will renew Eau Claire County's existing three-year baiting and feeding ban, effective May 1, 2018. Because this new CWD-positive result is located within 10 miles of Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin and Trempealeau counties, these counties will now be designated as CWD-affected counties. Additionally, two-year baiting and feeding bans for these five counties will be enacted on May 1.

The department collected a two-year-old doe in response to a sick deer call from a landowner and submitted samples for testing. This CWD positive animal is the first confirmed wild deer to test positive for the disease in Eau Claire County.

“While this latest detection is disheartening and is certainly cause for concern in Eau Claire and the surrounding counties, it demonstrates the importance of local involvement in our monitoring efforts,” said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. “Receiving the sick deer call from this concerned landowner allowed us to apply our sick deer response protocol and respond quickly to investigate a potential new CWD detection.

In response to the detection of this new CWD positive deer, the department will take the following steps to respond::

  • Convene a meeting with the local County Deer Advisory Council members from the 6 counties impacted by this detection to decide on future management actions specific to this detection.
  • 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 very important for assessing the potential geographic distribution of the disease and if other animals in proximity to the new positive test are infected.

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,, and search “bait and feeding” and “CWD sampling” respectively. To report a sick deer on the landscape, search keywords “sick deer” or contact a local wildlife biologist.

Robert graduated from Brandman University, where he got his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Born in Massachusetts, Robert’s family moved to Kentucky in 2005 where he spent his college life and worked as an insurance agent for four years. Now is the founder and team leader of the website.

One thought on “CWD detection in a wild deer in Eau Claire County will result in a renewal of the baiting and feeding ban

  1. Bruce Mehrens

    One need only to look at the State map showing counties that have Cwd to show that a statewide ban on feeding and baiting is overdue. Governor Walker simply refuses to take Cwd seriously. His love affair with deer farms and the movement of sick deer from one farm to another shows a callous dis-regard to how this epidemic prion disease will affect the states deer herd. The science on Cwd always tends to show that our Dnr is always behind the curve. First it was in the brain and spinal tissue. Then it was in the lymph nodes. (Anyone who butchers their own deer know that lymph nodes are found in boned out meat). Then it was in urine, droppings,meat itself, apples, corn ect.. With 2 feet of snow on the ground, how do deer farms keep urine from washing out of fenced in areas with spring snowmelt. Who monitors deer scents? I see no serious attempt to stop the spread of Cwd. I only see lip service and that will simply not work with this deadly prion disease. We need a scientific statewide panel on this disease with tough decisions made on how to stop the spread. Simply monitoring Cwd will not make it go away.


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