CWD Roundup is the National Deer Association’s (NDA) bi-monthly update on all things chronic wasting disease (CWD). We’ll provide the latest updates on CWD spread, research and policy from across North America. Updates are provided alphabetically by state and province.
Regulatory Reminders and Updates for Hunting Seasons
A general trend that we’ve seen over the last two months is state wildlife agencies issuing news releases with information and reminders for hunters with respect to CWD as they head afield this fall. These reminders have included information on CWD hunting zones, regulations within those zones, carcass transport rules and how and where to get harvested deer tested for the disease. Hunters should pay close attention to these reminders and would be wise to take another glance at their state wildlife agency’s CWD webpage. Regulations and maps change quickly and often, and hunters must do their part to limit the spread of this disease.
Some states that have issued regulatory reminders include: Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
In mid-September, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) issued a new executive order outlining regulations designed to increase sampling and slow the spread of CWD in Florida deer. The order was in response single positive test sample for CWD in Holmes County in June 2023. New regulations include targeted, mandatory sampling and additional antlerless harvest opportunities.
In early October, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) modified the CWD Control Area in northeast Louisiana to include a small portion of East Carroll Parish, east of the Mississippi River. The change was necessitated by the detection of a CWD positive deer in Issaquena County, Mississippi. The detection was approximately six miles away from the newly included area. This was the first positive detection in Issaquena County since 2018. The CWD Control Area now includes all of Tensas Parish and portions of Concordia, East Carroll, Madison and Franklin parishes.
In late October, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that a 4-year-old doe that was recently reported to be in poor condition in Ogemaw County tested positive for CWD. This is the first CWD-positive wild deer from that county, and the DNR is responding with more sampling opportunities for hunters.
In mid-October, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) confirmed a 3 1/2-year-old female white-tailed deer harvested in Johnston County tested positive for CWD. The deer was hunter-harvested during archery season and represents the first detection of the disease in Johnston County since the state’s first recorded case of CWD in March 2022.
In mid-September, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) received confirmation of a case of CWD in a deer-breeding facility in Kimble County, marking the second such detection in a deer-breeding facility located in the county. A six-year-old doe tested positive through an antemortem (live-animal) test conducted to meet annual CWD surveillance requirements for the facility, and postmortem testing confirmed the initial result.
In late September, TPWD adopted an emergency rule implementing a new surveillance zone in Kimble County as a result of the prior detection. All harvested deer, elk or CWD-susceptible species within the zone must be brought to a TPWD check station or drop box within 48 hours for testing. Carcass movement restrictions also apply within the surveillance zone.
In late October, TPWD received confirmation of a case of CWD in Medina County, marking the fifth detection since 2015 in a deer-breeding facility in the county. A one-year-old buck tested positive through an antemortem (live-animal) test conducted to meet annual CWD surveillance requirements for the facility. Due to this recent detection, TPWD may establish a surveillance zone encompassing a two-mile radius.
In late September, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirmed that a Rock County deer farm tested positive for CWD. The positive result came from a 4-year-old white-tailed buck. The farm has been placed under quarantine, where it will remain while DATCP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarians and staff conduct the epidemiological investigation.
In late September, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was notified by DATCP that a farm-raised deer on a deer farm in Washburn County tested positive for CWD. The positive result was within 10 miles of the Barron, Rusk and Sawyer County borders, initiating new baiting and feeding bans to go into effect in Washburn, Barron, Rusk and Sawyer counties on Oct. 5, 2023.
In mid-October, DNR was recently notified by DATCP that a farm-raised deer on a deer farm in Outagamie County tested positive for CWD. This positive result is within 10 miles of the Calumet, Waupaca and Winnebago county borders, initiating a new baiting and feeding ban to go into effect in Calumet County on Oct. 13, 2023.
In early October, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) confirmed the presence of CWD in Wyoming’s Deer Hunt Area 154. The disease was detected in a hunter-harvested buck mule deer in September. Deer Hunt Area 154 is in the Jackson Region and is bordered by three areas that previously detected CWD in deer.
In late October, WGFD confirmed the presence of CWD in Elk Hunt Area 58. The disease was detected in a hunter-harvested bull elk in early October. Elk Hunt Area 58 is in the Cody Region and is bordered by two areas that previously detected CWD in elk. Additionally, Elk Hunt Area 58 overlaps with Deer Hunt Area 113 where the disease also has been detected.
In late September, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it was providing approximately $12 million to state and Tribal partners to further develop and implement CWD management and response activities in wild and farmed cervids. APHIS based its funding allocations on the following priorities, established collaboratively with state agricultural and wildlife representatives, Tribal officials and the cervid industry:
- Improving CWD management of affected farmed herds and wild cervid populations;
- Improving CWD management of affected areas or premises;
- Conducting additional research on the use of certain sensitive testing technology, known as amplification assays, for CWD;
- Conducting additional research on predictive genetics; and
- Developing and/or delivering educational outreach materials or programs.
APHIS gave priority to State and Tribal governments that have already detected CWD or border CWD endemic areas; and have either implemented monitoring and surveillance programs or propose to do so.