Four CWD Shooting Periods Set

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The Department of Natural Resources will begin issuing scientific collector permits next week authorizing landowners in the 361-mile Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Eradication Zone to shoot deer on their property.

Permits will be mailed or hand delivered beginning May 28. Today, DNR mailed a letter to about 4,600 property owners of 10 acres or more in the Eradication Zone encompassing portions of southwestern Dane County, southeastern Iowa County and a small part of southern Sauk County.

Shooting will take place one week per month in June, July, August and September.

"We decided to go with four distinct seasons in deference to local concerns about the whole summer filled with hunting," explained Carl Batha, CWD Incident Commander based at Dodgeville.

The hunting seasons are as follows: June 8-14, July 13-19, Aug. 10-16 and Sept. 7-13.

"Using the seven-day hunting period, separated by three to four weeks with no hunting, allows deer to settle down, residents in the Eradication Zone to resume a normal life, and gives outdoor recreationists a sense of security."

"It provides people a greater level of personal comfort, knowing when shooting could occur," added Mr. Batha.

Permits will be good through Sept. 13, 2002 and they will allow landowners or their proxies to shoot deer during the four hunting periods.

The permit holder and their agents do not need a deer hunting license, but do need to meet the legal, age and hunter safety requirements for obtaining a deer hunting license in Wisconsin. They must also wear blaze orange while hunting.

"We will allow rifle use in Dane County, although it's clearly a landowner option. Rifles are more effective and we feel using them during seven-day periods is the best option to maximize efficiency of killing deer," said Mr. Batha.

"It is also our intent to test every deer kept for human consumption, subject to sample quality and testing capacity, during the landowner permitting period," he added.

Carcass disposal will be handled either through landfilling or incineration. Final decisions on the protocol for the disposal method has not yet been made.