Help stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin!
The weather is getting cooler, and the days are becoming shorter. Deer hunting is underway, and the cherished 9-day gun deer hunting season is just around the corner! Unfortunately, there is a serious disease that is threatening this great Wisconsin tradition. We are asking you to join Wisconsin's Green Fire and our efforts to keep our state deer herd healthy with a donation of 5, 10, or even 50 dollars.
Our goal is to support four drop-off locations in 2020, each estimated to cost around $1250 in Dane, Iowa, Richland, or Sauk County's this season. And in turn, make proper carcass disposal easy and convenient for hunters in those locations.
What is Chronic Wasting Disease?
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk, and reindeer/caribou. Since it was first detected in Iowa County in 2001, CWD is spreading and has now been found in wild deer in 29 Wisconsin counties. Today, surveys show that CWD is present in the highest number of deer in portions of Iowa, Dane, Richland, and Sauk County. Centered around the initial outbreak area.
How do we know that CWD is spreading?
The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state's wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The graph below shows a steady increase in positive cases in tested male deer in southwest Sauk County since 2002. This trend will continue if collective efforts are not undertaken to address the spread of this devastating disease. Ultimately, left unchecked, CWD will seriously harm our herd and Wisconsin's billion-dollar deer hunting economy.
What do dumpsters have to do with CWD?
The carcass of CWD infected deer can expose other deer to the disease, directly or indirectly. Long after an infected carcass decomposes, the soil will remain infectious for years, possibly exposing other deer to the malformed proteins called prions that cause CWD. Wisconsin’s deer hunter knows that proper deer carcass disposal is a critical practice to help slow the spread of CWD, but they often don’t have access to safe disposal options. Enter Dumpsters for Deer Conservation!
Do dumpsters work?
Yes! In 2019 we partnered with the Sauk County Conservation Alliance by sponsoring a dumpster in Sauk County. Overall, hunters' feedback has been very positive, and that has been backed up with high dumpster usage. Here is what we learned:
44,540 pounds (22.27 tons) of deer carcasses safely disposed of at 4 locations around Sauk County. (That's a lot of deer bones!)
Using an estimate of 55 pounds of waste per deer, around 809 deer carcasses were collected.
The effort captured and safely disposed of the deer waste from approximately 210 CWD positive deer!
How do we know that? We used the equation as follows. 809 x .26= 210
Take the number of carcasses collected x the CWD prevalence rate = the number of infected deer 809 x .26= 210
We used the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) 2019 data, and the observed CWD prevalence rate of 26% for deer tested in Sauk County.
What are you planning to do with the funds raised through this effort?
Wisconsin's Green Fire Chronic Wasting Disease Control Fund supports our efforts to slow the spread of CWD throughout the state by implementing the best practices for deer carcass disposal. Our goal is to support four drop-off locations in 2020, each estimated to cost around $1250 in Dane, Iowa, Richland, or Sauk County's this season. And in turn, make proper carcass disposal easy and convenient for hunters. We also plan to continue our educational efforts with decision-makers, hunters, and outdoor users to improve Wisconsin’s response to this disease. With your help, we can make all of this happen!
I gave a donation! How else can I help?
1.) You can share this campaign with your friends and family through your social media channels and encourage them to get involved and help protect the deer herd and Wisconsin's hunting legacy.
2.) You can let the hunters in your life know about CWD and the resources provided by the WDNR to help stop the spread.
3.) If you are a hunter in one of these targeted counties, you can use one of the dumpsters! If not, you can practice proper deer carcass disposal.
I live in Sauk, Iowa, or Dane counties and hunt. How can I find a dumpster?
The amount we raise will directly impact how many dumpsters we can deploy for the 2020 deer hunt season. We will have the locations posted on our website and our Facebook page. For a complete list of dumpster locations, you can visit the WDNR dumpster website.
Who is Wisconsin's Green Fire?
Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) brings sound science and hard-earned field experience to understanding and managing our natural resources and conserving our environment. WGF is an independent non-partisan organization committed to using science and professional expertise to support natural resources management and environmental policy. Since our founding in 2017, Wisconsin’s Green Fire has become the go-to organization providing science-based information to policymakers, state and local agencies, and citizens who care about our conservation tradition and sustaining our natural resources.
Please support our CWD Control Fund and join us in protecting our wild deer herd and Wisconsin's great tradition of wildlife management!
- Sara Kehrli
- Don Waller
- Michael Foy
- Jerry McLimans