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WDNR warden urges Waushara County residents & visitors to review baiting and feeding ban in effect

Warden Benjamin Mott said changes and mis-understanding concerning the Waushara baiting and feeding ban is nearly a daily conversation on his routine patrols in Waushara County, where he said honest confusion has resulted in numerous cases of illegal activities.

Mott said Waushara County is back under a baiting a feeding ban due to a chronic wasting disease (CWD) positive wild deer near the county line with Portage County.

“There is a significant misunderstanding about where and how legal feeding can occur, and these wrong interpretations of the law has led to situations of people inadvertently violating the law,” Mott said. “Waushara County is among the 56 state counties that have bans on these activities. However, a refresher on baiting and feeding regulations is always a good idea.”

Warden Mott is advising hunters and wildlife observers involved in outdoor activities in Waushara County please review the regulations. “I’m focused on education and awareness to ensure voluntary compliance,” he said. “And the regulations do allow for legal feeding of animals as long as the feeding situation is not accessible by deer.”

The reason these reg-ulations were initiated, Mott said, is to slow the spread of the fatal deer brain disease known as chronic wasting disease – or CWD. “Baiting and feeding encourages deer to gather to eat – and it is this gathering in close quarters that increases the chance of the fatal disease spreading,” Mott said.

Mandatory bans on baiting and feeding are established within a geographic range of any confirmed CWD case.

“A question I often get is can I still use a feeder to watch wildlife? Yes, you can,” Mott said. “However, the feeder for birds and other small mammals must be within 50 yards of the home and at a height a deer cannot access it.”

 

There are deer baiting and feeding regulations in other counties affected by CWD. “The bottom line is not only to follow these bans in Waushara County, and also to know the regulations of other counties you may visit,” said Mott.

 

To see the deer baiting and feeding regulations for all counties, and learn more about CWD, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for “bait,” and “CWD.” You can also contact Warden Mott with violations or related inquires at 920-896-3383, email at benjamin.mott@wisconsin.gov, or through the Wisconsin DNR hotline at 1-800-TIP-WDNR.