On this just released CWD tracking map focus on the light-gray blocks, which show the current confirmation of the disease in wild populations of deer. Cases in north Mississippi and west Tennessee are relatively new, as is the gray block in north-central Virginia (Culpeper County), 20 miles from where I hunt.
There are CWD deniers in the hunting industry, but I am not one of them. The scientists and organizations I work with and believe in regard CWD as a real threat with the real potential to disrupt if not decimate deer populations and hunting in the future.
Every year that I look at an updated CWD map, I see the expansion of the nasty disease, and we all must take the threat seriously.
Some of the latest development you need to know:
The Quality Deer Management Association supports ending all transportation of live deer to lower the risk of spreading CWD. This includes deer breeders (no more shipping live deer from one state or region to another) and state wildlife agencies (no more capturing deer, say, in an urban area and moving them to more rural counties).
All states have enacted some version of this law: If you kill a deer in or around a known CWD area, you cannot transport the whole carcass across state lines. At a minimum you must de-bone the meat, and saw off the antlers and clean the skull cap of brain matter before you take it home.
Basically, know that the days of loading a deer in your pickup and driving home will soon be gone. The new normal will be quartering and de-boning your deer, so plan on that.
All health professionals and deer scientists say that if you shoot a deer in or near a known CWD area, have the meat tested before you eat it. Gut and clean the deer, bone out the meat, freeze it and send a sample to a lab as recommended by your state wildlife agency. Don’t consume until you get the word back that it’s CDW free.
Go online and get CWD testing info specific to your state/region and know how to have the meat tested before the 2019 season.
CWD has hit our area in the last 2-3 years. Its only one township away and we are in one of the “core areas” We have been getting our deer checked the last two seasons before eating them, thankfully they have all came back clean. We send the heads in to be tested and check the results. Litter more difficult to have them processed now days if you aren’t doing them yourselves. Plus if you get a nice buck and want it mounted you will need to have it capped out right away, cut the rack off then send in the rest of the head to be tested. The MDNR have set up drop box locations if there is not a processor close where you can fill out your information and they will pick the heads up and bring them in. I remember when CWD was just a thing out west and didn’t think it would make its way over. Well that time has come and I agree it will change hunting forever in some sot of ways. Will see what happened the new few years but I’m afraid its not going to be good!
Chronic Waste has actually made it into California in a few instances. Hunters returning from out-of-state areas have not prepared the meat properly and have brought in spinal and brain material. All cases so far have been isolated but All hunters need to know the laws pertaining to out-of-state transport back into your home state.
I don’t know why Texas has so few cases reported @ this time. I can only imagine that in due time, more cases will be reported as testing increases.
Regardless, I agree with Mike in that CWD may change deer hunting forever.
Texas May be influenced by politics in that multi million $ business. Many deer related shows film a lot there.
I notice an almost non existence in Texas, makes me wonder why. Texas has been in the exotic and high fence trade for 50 plus years that I know of as well as a baiting state. Both issues we are told spread CWD.
True and a reasonable assumption. Wonder how much politics is involved in this multimillion dollar businsea? There are many so called hunting shows filmed there as well as other known infected areas.