CWD sample sites established for opening day of modern gun deer season



LITTLE ROCK – Biologists and technicians with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be collecting chronic wasting disease samples from hunter-harvested deer on the opening weekend of modern gun season, Nov. 12-13. Voluntary biological sampling stations will be placed at 25 sites within the 10-counties comprising the CWD Management Zone – Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy and Yell counties.

Cory Gray, AGFC deer program coordinator, says the goal of the stations is to collect at least 300 samples in each of the 10 counties to determine the spread and rate of CWD in the area.

“This isn’t a mandatory test, but we need hunters’ cooperation determining the extent of the disease’s reach and prevalence,” Gray said. “Hunters who submit their deer for sampling on these two days will be given a number which they can later use to get their results. We’ll also call anyone who does submit a sample from a CWD-positive deer and talk with them one-on-one.”

A list of locations for CWD sampling is available on Page 8 of the following link:

Gray says biologists also are planning special days where anyone with meat from a CWD positive deer may bring it to specific locations to be incinerated.

“We plan to have locations and dates finalized on that as we get closer to opening day of modern gun season,” Gray said.

The search for CWD continues outside the management zone as well. While sample collection sites will not be set up in locations outside the zone’s borders, other methods are being used to detect the disease.

“We are continuing to monitor for CWD outside of the CWD management zone by collecting road-killed deer,” Gray said. “Studies show that roadkills are 16 times more likely to show positive cases for CWD than healthy-appearing animals. We also continue to take samples from any deer or elk reported as sick throughout the state. As we get closer to the rut, we fully expect those roadkills, and the sampling from them to increase.”

So far, no positive cases of CWD have been found outside of Boone, Madison, Carroll, Newton and Pope counties.

Some veterinarians throughout the state also have said they would be willing to take samples from hunter-harvested deer and submit them to labs for testing. The results of those tests will be shared with the AGFC, but hunters submitting samples would be responsible for the cost of sampling and testing. A list of veterinarians who expressed interest in performing CWD samples can be found at

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