DNR testing health of deer herdNorthern region hunters are asked to participate in disease surveillance deer head collection this season.
Northern region hunters are asked to participate in disease surveillance deer head collection this season. The DNR is collecting adult deer heads from 18 northern Wisconsin counties, including Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland and Sawyer. Burnett, Polk and Washburn collections are completed, and Barron County is nearly done. A sample of 500 heads from each county is required for disease surveillance.
It has been six years since the northern counties comprehensively “tested” the health of the deer herd. Wildlife manager Greg Kessler said lymph nodes will be collected from the submitted heads and checked for signs of bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease. Bovine TB has been found in Minnesota and Michigan but not in Wisconsin.
“We don’t anticipate finding anything, but we need to look,” Kessler said.
If hunters have a trophy deer worthy of a mount, they can ask the registration station workers how to both supply a sample from the deer for disease testing and have the trophy mounted.
When turning in a deer head, hunters just need to supply the name of the county it was killed along with the township and range. If hunters want to find out the results of a test, they should also give their name and customer number.
DNR service centers and some registration stations, meat processors and taxidermists will accept deer heads.
Check the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.wi.us for drop-off locations, or hunters can find the nearest collection point by contacting any of the following DNR service centers: Antigo (715) 627-4317; Ashland (715) 685-2900; Cumberland (715) 822-3590; Florence (715) 528-4400; Hayward (715) 634-2688; Ladysmith (715) 532-3911; Park Falls (715) 762-3204; Rhinelander (715) 365-8900; Spooner (715) 635-2101; Superior (715) 392-7988 or Woodruff (715) 356-5211.