The process of checking the deer may take a little extra time, but the
data will be invaluable, according to the AGFC's deer program coordinator
Cory Gray. "It will take a couple of minutes longer to collect the samples
and data, but it is very important that we check the recommend number of
deer for CWD," Gray said.
Testing will continue into the modern gun season. "Our biggest effort
will be the opening weekend of modern gun season. Some regions of the state
will start the opening weekend of muzzleloader just to ensure they get the
numbers of samples needed. We just want to inform the hunters that we will
be out there and if they see us, please bring their deer to us," he said.
|Biologists will be
asking hunters to donate the head of the deer for testing, AGFC field
biologist and CWD coordinator John Gallagher says. "Contributing a head for
sampling is totally voluntary. Hunters cooperating with biologists is the best
approach to disease control," Gallagher said.
This is the second year of intensive sampling in Arkansas. Biologists
hope to gather 1,250 deer samples this year. "This is year two of a
three-year plan developed in cooperation with the USDA and APHIS to do
intensive surveillance across the entire state. We will be working at check
stations, processors, on WMAs and with hunting clubs around the state,"
|Biologists will be focusing on the
following counties: Fulton, Independence, Yell, Sebastian, Pope,
Washington, Benton, Desha, Chicot, Woodruff, St. Francis, Monroe, Cross,
Calhoun, Cleveland, Dallas, Ouachita, Faulkner, Lonoke, Clay, Greene,
Howard, Pike, Perry and Scott counties
For the second time in as many years, Arkansas' deer herd got a clean bill
of health last month. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had almost 800
deer tested recently and none tested positive for CWD.
|Chronic wasting disease, is a
nervous system disease that has been observed in deer and elk in Colorado,
Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana and Oklahoma. There is
limited information known about origin and means of transmission for the
disease. It causes damage to portions of the brain of the animal and there
is no cure for the always-fatal disease.