NORTHWOODS - This hunting season, the Department of Natural Resources put some extra effort into stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease. They tried to pass a regulation on Monday that will make it so hunters cannot remove deer carcasses from CWD affected counties. The Legislative Joint Committee on Rules and Regulations revoked that regulation this week.
The regulation prohibiting hunters from moving deer carcasses out of CWD-affected counties was supposed to take effect on Monday.
Those who voted to repeal the regulation say they did so because they felt there wasn't enough time and notice to the deer hunters of Wisconsin. Four committee members voted to keep the regulation, six voted to repeal it.
"I was very glad to hear that the court system vetoed it," said Jay Schaefer who owns a small butcher shop in Crandon.
Jay Schaefer owns a small butcher shop in Crandon. He and his team process around 500 deer every hunting season. This regulation might have meant some lost customers for him.
"People buy tracts of land in different counties and set up their deer camps and cabins there so there is much travel involved," Schaefer said.
This would also mean less choice for hunters. According to Dan Grunst, who owns an archery store in Rhinelander, this idea wasn't popular with the people who came into his shop either.
"If they harvest a deer they want to be able to take it to their processor back home," Grunst said.
Earlier this fall the DNR put out a notice asking hunters to submit deer heads for testing at sampling sites.
Even though Schaefer and Grunst aren't too happy with the regulations put in place because of CWD, they are still willing to submit heads for testing.
"Every deer head that comes in here, unless the customer wants it back as a trophy, is being submitted, tagged and ID'ed and we know which county it came from," Schaefer said.
Shaefer just doesn't want the decision to be rushed.
"They need to know more about CWD before they start something like this," Schaefer said.
Tami Ryan with the Department of Natural Resources says the decision the joint committee on rules and regulations wasn't rushed.
"The hearing was over seven hours long," Ryan said.
The DNR will most likely continue to revise the regulations they want to put into place to control CWD. Ryan says there are still laws on the book now that hunters still need to know about.
"Certain parts of deer carcasses that originate from CWD affected counties should remain within the CWD affected counties unless going to a licensed taxidermist or meat processor," said Ryan.
Ryan says deer carcasses are a huge risk for the spread of CWD.
For information on current hunting rules and regulations, visit the DNR website.