UPDATED ON: May 1st, 2015
In 2002, a wild whitetail deer outside Madison, Wisconsin, became the first animal to test positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). At that time, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), with cooperation from the deer hunting public, took on a very aggressive approach to the eradication of the disease which is now found in nearly 20 different U.S. states. That approach did not have the effect the WDNR had hoped for because of negative backlashes from both landowners and hunters who were unwilling to take greater numbers of deer and the disease had spread over a much larger area than originally suspected.
Recently the WDNR has changed its tactics for combating the disease through nearly a decade of advanced research and public trial and error. Wisconsin’s new management strategy is significantly different and can currently be viewed by anyone who has access to a computer. The website is knowcwd.com – and it’s the first step toward a better future with the existence of CWD in the state’s deer population.
Wisconsin hunters can get all the latest news and information regarding CWD online and anytime at knowcwd.com.
The website provides both hunters and landowners with the most up-to-date news and information about CWD and ways they can help maintain healthier deer herds without compromising the long standing deer traditions within the state. Something the original CWD plan did not accommodate.
Wisconsin state wildlife officials say they started the website for the purpose of sharing information on all aspects of the disease including where it exists within the deer herd, how it spreads, and the practices of other state agencies combating the disease. It also includes information about the limited human health risks from eating diseased meat.
Whether you reside in Wisconsin, another one of the many other CWD infected states, or just want to become a more informed hunter, the staff and I here at the Hunting Network encourage you to visit this extremely informative website. CWD is something we will likely always have to live with. While we may not be able to totally eliminate it, there are steps each one of us can take in preventing its spread and protecting the future of our common love – the whitetail deer.