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MADISON — State wildlife officials are planning to launch an aerial search for chronic wasting disease in northwestern Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources plans to conduct aerial surveys around the Shell Lake area in Washburn County, where a doe tested positive for the disease in 2011. No other deer from the area have tested positive for the disease since.

The surveys will be conducted in fixed-wing aircraft and focus on a 36-square-mile area where the doe was found. Observers will estimate the deer population in the area and look for high concentrations of deer, which increase the risk of disease transmission.

The flights are set to begin this month and continue into March as weather permits.

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