The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hoping that more information and testing will help them get a handle on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the deer population across the state.
Last year the department saw about 6,000 samples and this year they are hoping for 8,000.
"If we don’t sample the deer that hunters are bringing in we really don’t know the prevalence of CWD on the landscape anywhere in the state," said DNR Biologist Dianne Robinson.
Samples can be dropped off throughout the state and the DNR will have representatives at many processing locations this weekend to coincide with the start of the Firearms Deer Opener.
Coreen Gorski dropped off a sample at the Waukesha DNR office today. Her husband got this deer with a bow and they want to make sure it is safe.
"This deer comes from a part of Wisconsin that is just starting to show signs of it, so we are just having it checked to be sure," Gorski said.
While there isn't any evidence that CWD is passed on to humans or effects them, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that humans don't eat infected meat.
Tom Mueller of Deer Creek Processing said he processes about 400 deer a year and only a few each time are infected. But out of an abundance of caution and customer demand he will wait to process CWD infected meat until after all other deer have been processed.
CWD is currently most prevalent in Dane, Sauk, Iowa, and Richland Counties. The DNR's website has interactive maps for hunters to get an idea of where the disease is. It is also packed with other CWD information.