Hunters in Wisconsin, beware!

DNR bans deer baiting, feeding in Winnebago County


Katie Pulvermacher / Advance-Titan – Hunters in Wisconsin need to watch out for Chronic Wasting Disease, which has recently been identified in Winnebago County. A healthy deer is shown in the photo, but if a deer were to have the disease, the symptoms listed above would be present.

Nolan Swenson & Kelly Hueckman, Staff Editors

Deer baiting and feeding will be banned in Winnebago County after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed a case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) for the first time in Winnebago County in the town of Nepeuskun.

The positive deer was found in Nepeuskun within 10 miles of Waushara County, Green Lake County and Fond du Lac County borders.

CWD is an infectious nervous system disease in the cervid, or deer, family. It was first detected in Wisconsin in 2002, and has spread to 30 U.S. states, according to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

In compliance with state law, the DNR will enact a three-year ban of feeding and baiting within Winnebago county, as well as a two-year ban in the conjoining counties within 10 miles of the positive. These counties include: Waushara County, Green Lake County and Fond du Lac County.

The feeding ban is put in place to prevent unnatural congregation of deer where the disease may spread rapidly.

Infected deer can spread CWD either through direct contact with healthy deer or by leaving behind infectious prions – or damaged proteins – in saliva, blood, feces and urine. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is “no strong evidence” of CWD being spread to humans, but they recommend hunters take precautions to reduce exposure to infected animals.

They urge hunters harvesting deer or elk in CWD-positive areas to have their game tested for CWD before eating it and to ask it to be processed individually to avoid any contamination. 

Additional ways to avoid CWD exposure is to avoid deer that look sick or are behaving strangely, minimizing contact with organs while dressing deer and using specific tools for field dressing.

To learn more about feeding and baiting regulations in Wisconsin, visit The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website at For more information on CWD, visit