Douglas County’s Land Conservation Office has information to share with hunters planning to head out during the 2019 gun deer season that gets underway Saturday, Nov. 23.

Hunters harvesting adult deer in Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk and Washburn counties are encouraged to submit samples from their harvest to test for chronic wasting disease. There is no cost to hunters and anyone submitting a sample should receive test results 10-14 days after bringing their deer to one of the sampling stations.

Chronic wasting disease is a contagious neurological disease affecting cervids like deer, elk and moose. It results in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily function and death and is characterized by a spongy degeneration of the brain in infected animals.

Douglas County has five locations where deer heads or lymph nodes are collected for CWD testing:

  • Shir-Mark Game Processing, 5081 S. County Highway A, Superior;
  • VP Wild Rice Company, 2731 E. Second St., Superior;
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ranger station, 9547 County Highway Y, Gordon;
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ranger station, 6250 Ranger Road, Brule;
  • Hursh Meat Processing, 10083 Oak Road, Poplar.

CWD testing is occurring throughout the northern region of the state and all hunters are encouraged to participate.

According to the DNR, the health of the deer herd relies on a commitment from hunters because managing CWD begins with knowing where the disease exists on the landscape; a robust sample size contributes to this knowledge.

“We’re grateful for hunters making that extra effort to have their deer sampled for CWD, and to support them, we continue to make access to sampling simpler, faster and easier each year,” said Tami Ryan, acting DNR Wildlife Management Bureau director. “Each deer sample is important because it contributes to an accurate understanding of the health of Wisconsin’s deer herd.”

Bayfield County is offering several dumpsters to dispose of deer carcasses to help prevent the spread of CWD because the disease can survive in the soil when carcasses are disposed of improperly, according to the Douglas County Land Conservation Office. The locations nearest to Douglas County include PJ’s Cabin Store, 1040 Lake Road, Barnes, and Timber Ghost Taxidermy, 8470 Highway 2, Iron River.

A program designed to allow hunters to harvest more deer to reduce the state’s deer population is back this year.

The Wisconsin Deer Donation program uses Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program to pay for processing of harvested deer donated by hunters to distribute to people in need in Wisconsin.

Hunters in Douglas County can drop off their legally harvested, field-dressed contributions to the program at Hursh Meat Processing, 10083 E. Oak Road, Poplar.