Welcome to KNOWCWD.COM

This site is dedicated to presenting information about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Wisconsin.

CWD was first detected in Wisconsin in 2002 when three deer taken by hunters near the village of Mount Horeb, about 10 miles southwest of Madison, tested positive. At the time, little was known or understood about the disease or its management. In an effort to prevent CWD from spreading to the rest of the state, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources took an aggressive approach by attempting to drastically lower the deer herd in a radius around where the infected deer were harvested for the purpose of disease eradication. That approach failed due in-part to negative backlash from the public and hunters’ unwillingness to harvest more deer; and also because the disease was later found to have already spread over a larger area.

Over a decade later, much more has been learned about the disease itself and how it spreads. As a result, Wisconsin’s management strategy has changed considerably and a new CWD Response Plan has been developed. The plan accepts an area of infection in the southern portion of the state; however, the goal is to limit CWD to that area while simultaneously controlling its intensity and distribution. This goal indicates a shift from the state’s original management approach.

CWD has the potential for significant, negative impacts on the future of deer and deer hunting wherever it exists. Therefore, minimizing the area of the state where the disease occurs is the responsible goal to pursue.
Register to receive e-mail updates regarding CWD and season structures

Email Signup
Deer Hunting Season Calendar
Symptoms of CWD

  • No fear of humans
  • Teeth grinding
  • Notable weakness
  • Drooping of head and ears
  • Excessive thirst
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Rough dull coat
  • Walking in set patterns
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Excessive salivation
  • Diminished tone of facial muscles
  • Excessive urination
  • Severe emaciation & dehydration
  • Inability to stand