GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says a ban on baiting and feeding deer in Oconto and Menominee counties will take effect Nov. 1, 2016.
The ban was triggered by the discovery of Chronic wasting disease in a captive white-tailed deer on a private hunting preserve in Oconto County.
Wisconsin law requires the DNR to ban feeding and baiting of deer in a county that is within a 10-mile radius of the CWD zone. Chronic wasting disease is contagious and affects the animal’s brain. Eventually, the deer wastes away.
“Department staff are aware of the challenge such a sudden change may present for hunters, wildlife watchers and businesses that sell bait and feed,” reads a statement from the DNR. “It is important to note that the sale of bait and feed is not restricted, and other uses for these products are allowed. With the ultimate goal of having a healthy wild deer herd, department staff would like to thank Wisconsin’s citizens for their continued role in monitoring herd health and CWD.”
The DNR says CWD has not been found in wild deer in Oconto County or Menominee County.
People will be allowed to feed birds and small animals that are within 50 yards of a home, and with feeders that are designed so deer cannot access the food.