Third positive test helps DNR pin down 'epicenter' of CWD in Northwoods deer herdSubmitted: 01/07/2019
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Third positive test helps DNR pin down 'epicenter' of CWD in Northwoods deer herd
ONEIDA CO. - The DNR now calls the Lincoln-Oneida county line the likely "epicenter" of chronic wasting disease in wild Northwoods deer.

Testing after last fall's hunt found a CWD-positive deer in the Crescent Corner area southwest of Rhinelander. It's the third wild deer to be found infected in a close radius since 2017.

"It was also in that same area, within a one-and-a-half-mile radius of the other two. That tells us that likely is the epicenter, as it were, of our local wild deer infection," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz.

The DNR made a strong push for hunters to submit deer heads in Oneida and surrounding counties last fall. Hunters responded, allowing hundreds of deer to be tested for CWD.

"There, we had to really put an intensive effort into tell us, are we even sampling in the right area? Do we have a large enough sample area? Just how serious is the infection?" Holtz said.

But out of all those tests, only one has come back CWD-positive so far.

Sampling found no infected wild deer near a Three Lakes game farm. That farm produced the first CWD-positive captive deer in the Northwoods in 2015.

The DNR is still testing some deer submitted last fall. If their deer tests positive, the hunter is notified immediately.

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