The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters and wildlife observers in Monroe County that deer baiting and feeding are prohibited.
I recently investigated several complaints regarding feeding deer in Monroe County. Please remember, it is illegal to place, use or hunt over bait or feed material in certain counties. A deer feeding and baiting ban, which includes corn as well as salt and mineral licks, has been in effect for Monroe County since Dec. 1, 2017.
The ban is a tool to limit the spread of the fatal and highly contagious deer disease known as chronic wasting disease. Bans on baiting and feeding are established within a geographic range of any confirmed CWD case.
Chronic Wasting Disease may be spread by animal-to-animal contact. It also may be transmitted by contact with saliva, urine, feces, blood, carcass parts of an infected animal or soil and especially via live deer.
To protect our 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 Monroe County. Baiting and feeding encourages deer to congregate and have direct contact, thereby increasing the chances of spreading this fatal disease within the herd.
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If enforcement action is taken because this is a violation, you could face fines.
While the baiting and feeding of deer is unlawful, 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 a deer cannot access it.
To see the deer baiting and feeding regulations for all counties, and learn more about CWD, go to https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/hunt/bait.htm.
Matthew Modjeski is a conservation warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.