Jerry Davis: DNR’s CWD, deer, predator studies continue
TOWN OF BRIGHAM — The Department of Natural Resources five year (and then some) Southwest Wisconsin CWD, deer, and predator study in Grant, Iowa and Dane counties is entering the third winter of netting adult deer. An absence of winter snow and cold have slowed the netting this year.
Deer are netted by dropping a large mesh net onto feeding deer using a remote trigger. Deer are immediately calmed by holding them down under the net while a tranquilizer is administered. A cut-away stocking cap is placed over the deer’s face after eye drops are administered to keep the eyes moist.
Numerous samples and measurements are taken, two ear tags and a GPS neck collar are attached, which stays with the deer until it dies from hunting, vehicle crash, predator or disease. The GPS unit sends signals to a researcher’s computers so the animal’s movement can be tracked. When a deer remains still for a long period, a different signal is transmitted indicating the animal may be dead.