Mississippi Buck Found Dead: CWD Now Documented In 24 States

cwd map 24 statesEvery time I blog about Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, people read it, yawn and move on. Last year I hosted and produced an episode of BIG DEER TV on Sportsman Channel entitled “State of the Deer Union,” a significant portion of which dealt with the science and dangers of CWD. People watched it and the ratings were good, but I got only a handful of emails on the CWD topic.

TIME TO WAKE UP HUNTERS! CWD continues to spread with POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING long-term impacts on America’s deer herds and the future of hunting.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) reports the first documented case of Chronic Wasting Disease in the state. The 4½-year free-ranging buck was found dead in Issaquena County and collected by MDWFP in late January.

CWD, which was first documented in mule deer in Colorado in 1967, has now been confirmed in 24 states, 3 Canadian provinces and 2 foreign countries.  CWD is found only in hoofed animals such as deer, elk, and moose. The disease affects an animal’s nervous system. Infected deer lose weight, wander aimlessly, salivate and eventually die. It is always fatal.

While many people continue to scoff and blow off CWD, the impacts are now starting to be felt in the way we hunt. Last fall, during the 2017 season, in several different incidents, hunters were charged with illegally transporting deer shot in CWD states across state lines. You can’t just throw a gutted buck in the back of your truck and carry it home across a state line anymore. Most every state in the Nation has now implemented CWD deer transport laws and you MUST KNOW THEM AND ABIDE.

Even more problematic, CWD is now affecting the very core of why most of us hunt—to bring home the venison. While no cases of CWD in humans have been confirmed, there is fear that could change. In a Canadian study three of five primates contracted the disease after eating meat from CWD-infected animals.

If this doesn’t get your attention I don’t know what will.

Steve Demarais of the Mississippi State University Deer Lab said the thought of CWD changing into something that kills humans isn’t out of the question. “It’s morphed and there’s nothing to say it won’t morph into something that humans are more susceptible to.”

In other CWD news: 2 more penned deer recently tested positive for CWD in Pennsylvania. And 15 deer shot by hunters in far northwestern Virginia during the 2017 season tested positive. This really hits home, as I hunt in a county less than 2 hours away.

3 thoughts on “Mississippi Buck Found Dead: CWD Now Documented In 24 States

  1. Here in Pa. we currently have 3 DMAs which is where deer turned up with CWD there are strict laws enforced for not handling venison properly and/or taking outside the lines of either. You may however transport it across those same lines after taking those precautions . The PGC has hired snipers to kill entire family groups of deer in some of the DMAs a step sportsmen have objected to as an option rather than allowing sportsmen to harvest the deer. At the same time the PGC has been slow to roll back antler restrictions an offer unlimited antlerless tags in those same areas . While the PGC talks a good story about controlling CWD they have spent less than 1/3 the amount of money on the issue as they have on a failed pheasant restoration program. In short the PGC themselves have allowed the spread of CWD hoping to keep it a “hot burner” topic in hopes of raising cash for other programs. Sad, yes it is. Do not believe everything you read about the storied PGC they were once a fine org but they are near bankrupt today with a management heavy payroll whom still collect cadillac heath plans and pensions.

  2. Thanks for the update on CWD in PA. Also require extra cash for an “improved “ pheasant permit which in my opinion leaves a lot to be desired. Not living up to promises on amounts of released birds. Saw more grouse walking them up in Potter.

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