BARABOO — Testing of deer shot in 2010 for chronic wasting disease shows it has not spread to new areas of Wisconsin, an official said last week.
However, in Sauk County the number of infected deer continued to grow, and infected deer made up a larger portion of the county’s herd.
A check of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ CWD web page found that officials detected 16 infected deer, out of 913 animals sampled, during hunting seasons in 2010.
In total, 60 cases of CWD have been detected among the 12,201 deer tested in the county since 1999 — the first year officials started looking for the brain disease, which affects native whitetail deer, moose and related animals.
Sauk County’s first CWD infection, a single animal, was detected in 2002, according to the DNR report.
Among nearby counties, Columbia County added one infected deer to its total of 14; Richland County’s total increased 11 new cases to 21 in 2010; and Iowa County added 138 cases for a total of 902.
CWD was first detected in the area bordering Dane and Iowa counties, around the village of Mount Horeb, and that is where the illness continues to be concentrated, figures show.
Statewide testing of deer in 2010 added 219 CWD cases to the to-date tally of 1,570.
“More cases of CWD have been found, but they have been found within the CWD management zones,” said Tami Ryan, chief of the DNR’s wildlife health section. “So no new areas (of CWD infections) have been detected.”
The percentage of Sauk County deer infected with CWD increased from 2 percent in 2009 to 3 percent in 2010, she said.
The rate of CWD infection reached 12 percent in the “core area” around Mount Horeb.
A map of CWD cases on the DNR website showed clusters southeast of Baraboo near Devil’s Lake, along the Sauk/Columbia county line near Merrimac and Sauk City; and in the Spring Green/Plain area. Single cases of CWD deer detections include areas north of Baraboo, near North Freedom and near Loganville.
A DNR map showed 11 CWD cases detected among deer shot near Baraboo and Devil’s Lake in past years. Ryan said that because the state park is a very large piece of state-owned land, it is one of the places where the DNR has concentrated its efforts to track the spread of the disease.
Sauk County is part of the DNR’s Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone, in which officials are trying to contain the disease by cutting back on the concentration of deer, Ryan said.
DNR officials plan to report to hunters of Sauk and Columbia counties on the 2010 deer kill and plans for the future during a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, 1006 Connie Road.