This summer, the inland northwest experienced an unprecedented drought, which brought hot temperatures, increased fire danger, and deadly diseases, killing dozens of white-tailed deer in the Spokane area and hundreds more throughout the region.
According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), there is another disease called Chronic Wasting Disease that could be even more deadly for our deer (CWD).CWD is a fatal neurological disease in white-tailed deer that has been detected in 26 states and four Canadian provinces as of August.
According to DFW, the disease has not yet been detected in Washington, but with more than 300 counties in the United States having already detected CWD and hunting season just around the corner, DFW has begun a testing programme to determine whether the disease is prevalent in Washington.
According to Melia T. DeVivo, Ph.D., Ungulate Research Scientist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, CWD could have a long-term impact on the state’s white-tailed deer population.“We are finding that if CWD prevalence increases, it can have pretty devastating population impacts,” DeVivo said. “Because it is 100 percent fatal and there is no cure or vaccine, if the disease increases in those populations, it can have a significant impact on adult survival.”
This season, DFW is turning to hunters for assistance. DFW is requesting that anyone who tags a deer have it tested for the disease. Beginning on the weekend of October 16, the DFW will host hunter check stations where you are encouraged to bring your harvested or roadkill salvaged deer.
9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturday, October 16 – Sunday, October 17, 20219:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturday, October 23 – Sunday, October 24, 2021Saturday, November 6, 9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, November 7, 20219:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 12 – Sunday, November 14, 20219:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 18 – Friday, November 19, 2021
A list of locations can be found by clicking here.
According to DFW, science indicates that this disease has no effect on humans; however, DFW and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that you avoid eating meat that has tested positive for CWD.
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