Wildlife Management Biologist, Terry Haindfield oversees the testing and says the positive test came from a wild deer taken in Clayton County during the shotgun season. The hunter shot the deer northwest of Elkader.
Clayton County is only the second one to have a positive test for CWD in wild deer and all the other positives have come from Allamakee County in the far northeast corner of the state. There were nine positive CWD samples found in Allamakee County, this season but Haindfield doesn’t think the cases in the two neighboring counties are related.
“We’ll most likely never know where that came from for sure — but it would seem unlikely that that came from those that are testing positive around the Harpers Ferry area of Allamakee County,” Handfield says. There’s speculation that the infected deer in both counties may’ve come from across the river in Wisconsin. Handfield says they’ll now hold a meeting to work with Clayton County residents to try and stop the spread of CWD.
He says the meeting will be February 13th from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader to provide information on the diseases. The DNR has been taking some extra sample in Allamakee County to try and determine how widespread the disease might be in the deer population there. Haindfield says work continues to complete the testing on all the samples taken from deer during the hunting season.
Handfield says they are close to being done with the tests on all the samples taken during the shotgun, bow and muzzleloader seasons. He says they’ve also already gotten back 23 samples from the special collection in Allamakee County and none of those came back positive.
Chronic wasting disease is spread from animal to animal through nose to nose contact and through the urine, feces and saliva left by positive deer. There is no cure once an animal becomes infected and it is always fatal to the deer. CWD has not been shown to transfer to humans.