Well, this is it, they have a two month long rifle season opening up to wipe out the herd. I feel like I lost my hunting. Anyone have any more info? My deer hunting days seem to be numbered. This is from WI DNR. What is Chronic Wasting Disease? Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a new disease threat to North American deer populations. CWD is a brain disease related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, also known as "Mad Cow Disease." CWD affects elk, mule and white-tailed deer. It has been diagnosed in free-ranging deer and elk primarily in northeastern Colorado/southeastern Wyoming and adjacent Nebraska, but has been found in captive elk in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan, and South Dakota. Researchers are just beginning to understand CWD. CWD appears to be caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. CWD can be spread by close contact between animals, and animals exposed to a CWD-contaminated environment may also become infected. Usually, months to years pass from when the animal is infected to when it shows signs of disease. Classic CWD signs in deer/elk 18 months or older include poor body condition, tremors, stumbling, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and excessive thirst or urination. There has been no way to test a live animal for CWD; the brain from a recently dead animal is examined microscopically. Researchers in Colorado are developing a live animal test for deer, using tonsil biopsies. Are Wisconsin wild deer infected with CWD? Wisconsin has surveyed wild deer for CWD since 1999. Over 1000 deer have been sampled. Three CWD positive deer have now been identified from samples collected during the 2001 gun deer season. All 3 deer were harvested from deer management unit 70A (portions of Dane and Iowa counties). All 3 were bucks 2 ½ 3 years old. The testing of all 400 statewide deer samples collected in 2001 was completed in March 2002 and the remaining samples were negative. We will continue annual testing to monitor for CWD. As a hunter, you may be asked by DNR personnel to provide a brain tissue sample from your deer. This is voluntary, but your cooperation is important in monitoring for this disease. Current sampling efforts are underway in a surveillance area centered around the location of the original three positive deer. Results from those samples will be posted on this site as they become available. Is CWD a human health hazard? The World Health Organization has said there is no scientific evidence CWD can infect humans. However, WHO also says no part of a deer or elk with evidence of CWD should be eaten by people or other animals. Over 16 years of monitoring in the infected area in Colorado has found no disease in people or cattle living there. For questions or comments about Chronic Wasting Disease, send mail to: Wildlife Reference Maps Chronic Wasting Disease Eradication Zone (Updated 5/22/02) CWD Surveillance Results (Updated 5/22/02) Deer Harvested in the Surveillance Area Deer Management Units Sampled for CWD 1999-2001 CWD in North America Wanna kill these ads? We can help!