OCONTO FALLS, Wis. — Hunters and wildlife observers planning fall and winter outdoor activities in the northeast Wisconsin counties of Marinette and Florence are reminded deer baiting and feeding is prohibited, and those not following the prohibition may be subjected to enforcement actions, Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officials say.
Lt. Andrew Lundin says the ban was recently placed on deer baiting and feeding in these counties to prevent the spread of the fatal and highly contagious deer disease, known as chronic wasting disease.
“In order to protect the state’s natural resources – in this case, our white-tail deer population – it is important to know and to follow the baiting and feeding bans in Marinette and Florence counties,” Lundin said. “Baiting and feeding encourages deer to congregate, thereby increasing the chances of spreading this fatal disease within the herd.”
The 2018 gun-deer season starts November 17 and runs through November 25.
Mandatory bans on baiting and feeding are established within a geographic range of any confirmed CWD case. Earlier this summer, DNR biologists confirmed a CWD case at a Marinette County deer farm, near the borders of Florence and Forest counties. Forest County already was under a baiting and feeding ban at the time of the case confirmation, as well as nearby Oneida County due to a previously confirmed CWD case.
The baiting and feeding bans for Florence and Forest counties run through June 18, 2020 and Marinette County’s ends on June 18, 2021.
Lundin says it remains lawful for feeders for birds and other small mammals. “However, feeders for these smaller animals and birds must be within 50 yards of the home and at a height that a deer cannot access it.”
There are deer baiting and feeding regulations in 43 counties affected by CWD. “The bottom line is not only to follow these bans in Florence and Marinette counties, but also to know the regulations of other counties you may visit.”
To see the deer baiting and feeding regulations for all counties, and learn more about CWD, search the DNR website, dnr.wi,gov, for “bait,” and “CWD.”