As hunting season approaches, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains it is important to be up to speed on local and area regulations regarding chronic wasting disease. They tend to change and vary from state to state. Below is what some state agencies are saying about CWD and the role hunters play in helping to limit its spread.
“Chronic wasting disease is a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s hunting heritage, the biggest we’ve faced in our lifetimes,” said Pennsylvania Game Commission President Charles Fox. “The fight ahead of us will be a challenging one. We’re committed as an agency to doing everything we can to win this battle for the whitetails we hold so dear. But we can’t do it alone. We need the help of all Pennsylvanians, and especially our deer hunters, to help manage our deer herd as well as this disease.”
“We are committed to keeping our wild deer healthy, while also facilitating social distancing for hunters and our staff,” said Michelle Carstensen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resource wildlife health program supervisor. “Deer hunters are essential in our surveillance efforts. They’ve been great partners, and we’re confident that their continued participation will help us collect the needed samples to detect disease on the landscape.”
“Many states with CWD have implemented similar restrictions on carcass movement,” said Missouri Department of Conservation Wildlife Health Program Supervisor Jasmine Batten. “The detection of CWD in several new areas of the state over the past few years is very concerning, and these regulation changes aim to further slow its spread. The vast majority of deer in Missouri are CWD-free today, and we want to keep it that way!”
“Hunting is a tool we already use to manage our deer and elk herds statewide, and these results show that we can adapt the use of hunting for CWD suppression as well,” said Matt Eckert, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Terrestrial Programs supervisor and co-author of a recent study highlighting how hunting is key to managing CWD.
Various CWD rules range from harvest locations and quotas to field dressing, transporting carcasses and suggested or required testing. Again, make sure you are familiar with regulations before you head afield.
(Photo source: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission)