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Hunters Can Earn Bucks for Deer with CWD
Wisconsin Ag Connection Editors - 09/19/2003

A private hunting group has coming forward to help the state implement a new program that will pay a $400 bounty this fall for each deer found to be infected with Chronic Wasting Disease in areas where the state is trying to dramatically reduce the herd size. The money would be split evenly between the hunter who kills the deer and the landowner who owns the property where the animal is killed.

Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Hassett said it was part of an incentive plan seeking help in harvesting as many deer as possible in the areas in hope of containing the fatal brain disease.

Since CWD was first confirmed in Wisconsin deer in February 2002, the DNR has implemented a management strategy that calls for the reduction of deer populations in about 1,150 square miles in the southwestern region where the disease has been detected.

The disease causes deer to grow thin and die and threatens Wisconsin's $1 billion a year hunting industry. The DNR has repeatedly said it needs hunter and landowner cooperation to succeed in its goal of containing the disease, and the plan released Thursday was meant to encourage that.

The $250,000 in reward money is a combination of funds from the DNR and $50,000 from an anonymous donor, with Whitetails Unlimited Inc. to administer the program. Hunters who shoot deer in the zone on state land will also be eligible for the $200 reward.
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