BLUE MOUND STATE PARK, Wisconsin (AP) -- A team of 19 state wildlife officials
shot and killed eight deer in this 1,100 acre state park Tuesday, beginning
an effort to eradicate chronic wasting disease.
State officials hope to kill all the estimated 15,000 deer in a 287-square mile area about 25 miles west of Madison to wipe out the disease that causes deer to wither away and die.
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) spokesman Greg Matthews said the 51/2-hour hunt Tuesday was successful but largely symbolic. The DNR estimated in February there were about 40 deer in the park, a tiny fraction of the number the state wants to kill.
Wildlife officials hope the hunt encourages local landowners to participate. State officials expect to begin handing out permits for landowners to kill deer on their property next week.
The state Legislature is expected to take up a bill this week that would provide up to $4 million to battle the disease and permit wildlife officials to shoot deer from helicopters.
No studies have shown the disease can spread to humans, but state officials will not allow hunters to keep the meat as a precaution.
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