Second CWD Landowner Shooting

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The second week-long shooting period for white-tailed deer by permitted landowners or their proxies began Saturday, July 13, and runs through Friday, July 19 within the 361-square-mile chronic wasting disease (CWD) eradication zone.

Brain and lymph tissue samples will be taken from collected deer for laboratory analysis. No date has been set for results.

Landowners and Department of Natural Resources marksmen shot 262 deer during the first shooting period (June 8-14). Other summer shooting periods are slated for Aug. 10-16 and Sept. 7-13.

Biologists opted for having one week of shooting during each summer month so as to allow deer to resume normal patterns, reduce the impact on landowner's summer activities, and provide for a greater degree of personal comfort, knowing when shooting will occur.

All deer will be shot under the authority of a scientific collector's permit and the more deer taken will "widen our CWD sampling base and provide us with more data on the disease's prevalence," noted Carl Batha, CWD incident commander based at Dodgeville.

The agency's long-term goal is to reduce deer numbers to as close to zero as possible in the eradication zone using landowner shooting permits in combination with DNR marksmen.

To date, about 1050 permits have been issued for the summer shooting periods and another 300 landowners indicated their willingness to allow government marksmen on their property to shoot deer.

"We are simply awed by the public support and landowner response at our request to help the Department combat this disease," Batha said.

DNR staff are still working to get collector's permits out to all Eradication Zone landowners requesting them. Landowners interested in receiving a permit or for more information can call (608) 935-1945.

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.

The CWD Eradication Zone encompasses western Dane-eastern Iowa Counties and a small portion of southern Sauk County.

Rifles will be allowed 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," Batha explained.

He emphasized that landowners who are allowing others to kill deer on their property to make sure these shooters know the property boundaries and the locations of buildings, roads and residences not only on their land, but neighboring properties as well.

"Remind them of the basics, such as know your target and beyond, and pass on our thanks to them for their help in eradicating this disease," Batha said.

The heads of all deer will be collected by DNR staff for tissue sampling. It is the agency's intent to test all tissue samples from deer kept for human consumption, subject to lab capacity and tissue sample quality.

"All deer should be transported as soon as possible to a CWD collection site to ensure a useable tissue sample," Batha said.

CWD deer collection sites are located two miles north of Barneveld off County Highway T at the Trout Creek Fishery Area and three miles north of Mazomanie off County Highway Y near the dog trial grounds.

After tagging a deer with a permit tag and surrendering the head to DNR for disease testing, the permit holder or agent may keep the carcass or give it to another for consumption. Landowners or their proxies are encouraged to keep deer in the Eradication Zone to help prevent the possible spread of CWD elsewhere.

All unused parts from the deer carcass (other than the entrails) should be disposed of at one of the DNR collection sites. During the summer shooting periods, unwanted carcasses brought to the collection sites will be frozen on site for later transport to an incinerator.

DNR shooters will assist landowners in removing deer from their property "subject to staffing availability," according to Batha.

The last time deer shooting was allowed in July was in 1859, when the hunting season ran from July 1 to Dec. 31. The season was pushed back to Aug. 1 beginning in 1860. A fall hunting framework was first set up in 1887, when the deer season ran from Oct. 1 to Nov. 10.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Batha, CWD Incident Commander, Fitchburg: 608-275-3248; Tom Howard, Wildlife Biologist, Dodgeville: 608-935-1918; Al Crossley, Wildlife Biologist, Fitchburg: 608-275-3242; Greg Matthews, Regional Public Affairs Manager, Fitchburg: 608-275-3317