Deer hunting

Deer hunting in Wisconsin has changed dramatically since this scene from a 1950s Northwoods camp. The change has been most stark in southern Wisconsin’s farm country since chronic wasting disease was found in 2002.

Deer hunting in Wisconsin was simpler in 2000, when we mostly argued about baiters, antlerless quotas, buck-to-doe ratios, and whether “quality deer management” was the future.

But one phone call from the USDA’s National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, changed everything in February 2002. That’s when the center’s laboratory verified Wisconsin as the first state east of the Mississippi River with chronic wasting disease in its deer herd.

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