CWD Still Plagues Deer
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
We're days away from gun deer season, but a silent killer continues to thin the herd. Chronic Wasting Disease slowly attacks the brain of an infected deer. The DNR says a new case has them wondering if the disease is still spreading in Wisconsin.
CWD was first discovered in our state in 2002. While Northeast Wisconsin remains CWD free, other parts of the state are not. A decade later, the disease continues to threaten the herd.
Chris Tolly hunts for the perfect gun, while a thought plagues his mind.
"You think about it every once in awhile when you're reading through the rule books. When they talk about the rules for Chronic Wasting area management," Tolly said.
CWD continues to infect the older deer population in Wisconsin.
"In the southern part of the state we continue to see the prevalence of that disease growing slightly, but the rate of spread on the landscape is not that fast," DNR Wildlife Supervisor Jeff Pritzl said.
Pritzl says almost 12% of bucks are suffering from the disease. And a new case was discovered last year in the northwest part of the state.
"That's what we're entering into Northwest Wisconsin is taking a real close look to see if this was an individual spark or if we've got another small outbreak on our hands," Pritzl said.
Hunters who bag a buck in the CWD zoning areas are asked to donate tissue so researchers can try to develop a vaccine.
"I hope they can get a handle on it. Everybody do their part to keep track of it and not spread it around throughout the deer herd," Tolly said.
The DNR says the disease does not transfer over to humans, but you're advised to never eat any kind of deer meat if you believe that deer had CWD.