CWD-positive white-tailed deer found on Waupaca County hunting ranch

Wisconsin State Farmer

MADISON – Two white-tailed deer from a hunting ranch in Waupaca County have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw announced today. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the test results.  

Fifteen years into its struggles with chronic wasting disease, the Department of Natural Resources still doesn't have an action plan for handling CWD discoveries outside the disease's endemic area in southern Wisconsin.

The bucks, ages 2 and 3 years, were part of the 40 deer reported to be on the 84-acre ranch, according to the owner’s most recent registration.  One buck was hunter killed and the other was euthanized due to an injury.  Neither animal showed clinical signs of CWD.  Both were sampled in accordance with Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP’s) rules, which require testing of farm-raised deer and elk when they die or are killed. 

McGraw quarantined three properties under the same ownership, which allows movement of deer between ranches and to slaughter, but stops movement of live deer to anywhere else. The business will be allowed to conduct hunts on the quarantined ranches because properly handled dead animals leaving the premises do not pose a disease risk. 

The DATCP Animal Health Division will initiate an investigation that examines the animal’s history and trace movements of deer to determine whether other herds may have been exposed to the CWD test-positive deer.