LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – If you hunt, wildlife officials want you to watch for Chronic Wasting Disease found in deer.
Chronic Wasting Disease, commonly known as CWD is caused by an infectious pathogen called a prion that spreads throughout the deer. The Department of Natural Resources is urging hunters to report any sick deer they see while hunting. Deer with CWD will have drastic weight loss, no fear of humans, notable weakness, drooping of the head and ears, diminished tone of muscles, walking in set patterns and loss of coordination, excessive salivation, and listlessness.
Following hunting season, the Department of Natural Resources asks hunters to test the deer by submitting samples or heads from harvested adult deer at DNR sampling sites. Testing is free.
Wildlife Biologist Ron Lichtie says that it is very important to send in harvested deer for testing, “We see this prion get shed from the animal either through feces, saliva, even through the carcass. So we are asking hunters that we get them off the landscape as soon as we can so that they are not shedding these prions on the landscape because it stays on the landscape or on the environment for a very long time. We are asking hunters is any adult deer that they harvest try to get them tested. That is going to provide a lot of scientific information for us to tell us where the disease is first and how fast is this disease moving across the landscape and hopefully one day we will have a cure for this disease so we can hopefully combat it a little more.”
To learn more about Chronic Wasting Disease visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.