CWD detection in a wild deer in Eau Claire County will result in a renewal of the baiting and feeding ban

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in western Eau Claire County, near the town of Brunswick.

As required by law, this finding will renew Eau Claire County’s existing three-year baiting and feeding ban, effective May 1, 2018. Because this new CWD-positive result is located within 10 miles of Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin and Trempealeau counties, these counties will now be designated as CWD-affected counties. Additionally, two-year baiting and feeding bans for these five counties will be enacted on May 1.

The department collected a two-year-old doe in response to a sick deer call from a landowner and submitted samples for testing. This CWD positive animal is the first confirmed wild deer to test positive for the disease in Eau Claire County.

“While this latest detection is disheartening and is certainly cause for concern in Eau Claire and the surrounding counties, it demonstrates the importance of local involvement in our monitoring efforts,” said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. “Receiving the sick deer call from this concerned landowner allowed us to apply our sick deer response protocol and respond quickly to investigate a potential new CWD detection.

In response to the detection of this new CWD positive deer, the department will take the following steps to respond:

  • Convene a meeting with the local County Deer Advisory Council members from the 6 counties impacted by this detection to decide on future management actions specific to this detection.
  • Establish a 10-mile radius disease surveillance area around this positive location
  • Conduct surveillance activities to assess disease distribution and prevalence including:
    • Encourage reporting of sick deer
    • Sample vehicle-killed adult deer
    • Sample adult deer harvested under agricultural damage permits
    • Sample adult deer harvested under urban deer hunts in the area
  • Establish additional CWD sampling locations prior to the 2018 deer seasons

These actions are very important for assessing the potential geographic distribution of the disease and if other animals in proximity to the new positive test are infected.

As has been demonstrated in the past in other parts of the state, local citizen involvement in the decision-making process as well as management actions to address this CWD detection will have the greatest potential for success.

For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin, and how to have adult deer tested during the 2018/2019 hunting seasons, visit the department’s website,, and search “bait and feeding” and “CWD sampling” respectively. To report a sick deer on the landscape, search keywords “sick deer” or contact a local wildlife biologist.

DNR Office of Communications
Spokesperson: James Dick
Department of Natural Resources
101 S Webster, P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: 608-267-2773 TDD: 711   |