DNR emphasizing CWD testing as Wisconsin gun deer season approaches

Bob Kowal is a deer hunting veteran.

“Since I was 12 years old,” Kowal said.

Sixty-four years later, he’s still going strong.

“I’ll be hunting with one of my grandsons every day this season,” Kowal said. “And I teach them to always check to safety.”

One of the safety regulations this year the Wisconsin DNR is stressing, is to make sure your deer does not have chronic wasting disease, or CWD.

“The department encourages that everybody does that, not only for our data, just so people know if their deer does have CWD,” Wisconsin DNR conservation warden Nick Engelhardt said.

CWD is a fatal, contagious disease that affects the nervous system of deer, moose and elk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it is unknown whether people can get it. But there is no evidence people have contracted it.

Hunters seem to be taking advantage of CWD testing.

Most samples in years past came back negative. Not more than nine percent of deer tested came back positive since 2012.

“Most counties have CWD stations where you’re able to donate a sample of your deer to test for CWD,” Engelhardt said.

The results do not take too long to process.

“To get samples back for CWD, it usually takes about 2-3 weeks during the gun season,” Engelhardt said.

Kowal says CWD does not concern him.

“Colorado, they’ve had CWD for 50 years, and people still go out there and hunt elk and deer and whatever,” Kowal said.

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.