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Chronic Wasting Disease: (Deer)

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    Posted: November 12 2017 at 2:16pm

LDWF battles chronic wasting disease in deer population

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is raising the level of concern about chronic wasting disease in the local deer population.

The whitetail deer is one of Louisiana's most beautiful and prized natural resources. But chronic wasting disease may harm these deer and affect the hunters of these creatures in a way never before known.

LDWF biologist Kate Hasapes, also known in some circles as the deer whisperer, has been studying this disease for more than two years.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease that occurs in deer and others like moose elk. When it attacks, the animal it causes the brain to turn sort of like Swiss cheese and puts holes in the brain and causes the animal to rapidly deteriorate, Hasapes said.

Biologists know this disease is all started by a mutated gene. Eventually, the deer will die an un-natural death.

“There is no cure and eventually the deer will die,” Hasapes said.

But what about the effect on people who eat venison?

“So far there is no indication that people can get chronic wasting from eating infected deer but the CDC recommends if your deer tests positive you should not eat it,” Hasapes said.

Chronic wasting disease is changing the way we look at whitetail deer and it has changed the law in regards to how you transport your harvest

“So to help chronic wasting disease from coming into the state from other positive areas we have implemented a carcass importation ban. So if you hunt outside of our area especially Texas and Arkansas, in order to bring that deer into the state you have to follow certain criteria. The deer has to be fully de-boned or the deer can be quartered but there is neck bone allowed, no back bone allowed or no skull. Unless it is a clean skull plate or European mount with no meat left,” Hasapes said.

Wildlife and Fisheries needs your help. The state tested more 360 deer in 2015 and 2016 and to date there has been no positive case in Louisiana. But once again, this year they are asking for donations of deer heads from specific areas.

Local biologists need 15 deer heads from Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto parishes. A total or quota of 45.

“Or if you harvest a deer that just looks sick then just call us up and we can test the deer even if you don't hunt in those areas,” Hasapes said.

LDWF needs these donations as soon as they are available. Deer season lasts until early January depending on you hunt archery or firearms.

“Whatever works out best for that hunter. In the past, we have gone to hunting clubs to pick up deer or if you have a deer you harvested and are coming by our office you can just drop it off,” Hasapes said.

For more information about chronic wasting disease and your local deer population, click here.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2017 at 3:55pm
Techno, this has been in Colorado for a long time. I will not eat Deer or Elk unless it has been tested. Now that being said I do not have any friends now who hunt but did when I was younger.

Everyone should do this.
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