The ban is required by state law because both counties are within a 10-mile radius of a Marathon County deer farm where a deer with chronic wasting disease was discovered. The deer was killed in November and the test results confirmed the CWD in December.
"Supplemental winter feeding of deer unnecessarily increases the risk of spreading CWD and other diseases by concentrating deer activity at one spot," Jeff Pritzl, DNR wildlife supervisor for Northeast Wisconsin, said in a news release. "Long-term herd health is important to preserving our great hunting tradition. It is a foundation of tourism and vital to local businesses. This outweighs any possible benefit to individual deer or deer watchers provided by feeding."
The ban was delayed so it didn't interfere with the ongoing deer hunting season. Baiting and feeding of deer is now banned in 35 of Wisconsin's 72 counties.