The impact of CWD won’t be known until sometime next year when the deer hunting season is over. There are many different ways that taxidermists will be affected by CWD and not all taxidermists will be affected the same way. Deer hunting alone is a one billion dollar industry in Wisconsin, while deer taxidermy is considered the bread and butter work for many taxidermists. Some of the ways taxidermists will be affected are listed below:
• Because of the number of hunting license is down 22% in Wisconsin right now, that means less bucks will be harvested and sent to the taxidermists.
• Because of hunters having their deer tested for CWD, having their deer mounted, and not hunting locally, the workload of deer head mounting could be shifted to other area’s of the state than normally seen. This could reduce or increase your workload.
• Because of the extra work and costs in handling the deer for mounting, this could raise the costs of having a deer head mounted. Some hunters may not want to pay the extra cost for mounting.
• Because of some states not allowing deer carcasses from entering their states, this may stop out of state hunters from coming to Wisconsin to hunt this year.
• Because of maybe having to adjust for the loss of deer income, taxidermist may have to learn other ways to make added income in the taxidermy field. They may learn how to mount something that they
haven’t done in the past, but this will also add another expense in learning.
• Because of some taxidermists concerned about CWD and not really understanding the disease, they may decide to quit doing deer taxidermy, which is a loss of income for them.
Unfortunately, Wisconsin was the first state east of the Mississippi to have a deer test positive for CWD. Because of the larger deer populations here in Wisconsin, we have had to approach this disease differently than out West. We are not totally able to sit back and watch some other state solve the CWD issues, but instead we are being watched on how we handle CWD and basically leading the pack. Because of the WDNR attacking this disease so forcefully, the pace of finding a solution to stop or prevent CWD has accelerated. We have to be patient while we wait for these answers,but new tests are being developed and hopefully will be put in place sometime next year. Hopefully things will be back to normal by the 2003 deer hunting season.