MADISON — With gun deer season beginning later this month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources invites you to listen to the “Wild Wisconsin — Off the Record” podcast to help get prepared. Recent episodes cover the impact of Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin and the department’s Hunt for Food program.

In the “Getting a Grasp on CWD’s Impact in Wisconsin” episode, Tami Ryan, the DNR’s Acting Director of the Bureau of Wildlife Management, and, Dan Storm, the DNR’s Elk and Research Scientist, address the substantial research efforts underway to help slow the spread the deadly nervous system disease. CWD affects deer, moose and elk and is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. These prions cause brain degeneration in infected animals and lead to extreme weight loss, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions.

Six active research projects are ongoing in the department related to CWD, the largest being the Southwest Wisconsin CWD, Deer and Predator study, which is focusing on the potential impact of CWD on deer survival and deer population growth in southwest Wisconsin.

In the “What’s CWD Got to Do With It” episode, Mandy Kamps, a DNR Wildlife Biologist, broke down the basics of CWD, which was first detected in Wisconsin more than a decade ago. Included in the episode are two avid Wisconsin deer hunters on a mission to help stop CWD through the DNR’s volunteer Adopt-A-Kiosk and Adopt-A-Dumpster programs.

Hunting is a time-honored tradition in Wisconsin. Anyone who is just looking for a better understanding of the culture or interested in knowing where food comes from stands to learn from the DNR’s Hunt for Food program, which is covered in the podcast episode “Enjoy Wisconsin’s Wild Side and Learn to Hunt For Food.”

The free program combines classroom and field instruction for beginners before pairing participants with an experienced hunter to go out in the wild. During the episode, you will hear from two Wisconsin hunters who fell in love with hunting after participating in the program.

For families, though, it can be challenging to find the time for hunting adventures while balancing responsibilities at home. However, it can be done. In the “For the Love of the Hunt” episode, devoted husband and outdoorsman John Stellflue recently headed out for the youth hunt with his nephew — on his wedding anniversary. Listen in to John and his wife, Caralyn, as they share their secret to balancing his love of the hunt and their marriage.

Gun deer season begins Nov. 23. Find out more about season dates here. Anyone in need of purchasing a license can do so on the DNR’s Go Wild webpage https://dnr.wi.gov/social/podcast.html

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