AUSTIN - Texas hunters wishing to assist with the statewide chronic wasting disease (CWD) monitoring effort this fall can do so by voluntarily taking their harvested deer (or the head of the harvested deer) to a location where Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife biologists will be collecting tissue samples for testing.
A list of collection sites and times is available online at www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd. In addition to those established collection locations, biologists will also be conducting localized sampling at various sites throughout the season to meet sampling objectives. For additional information regarding localized CWD sampling efforts during this deer season, please contact your local wildlife biologist (http://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/land/technical_guidance/biologists/).
TPWD has been conducting CWD surveillance on hunter-harvested deer and road-kill deer since 2002, and has a goal to collect tissue samples from at least 8,000 hunter harvested deer throughout the state during the 2015-16 deer season. The general deer hunting season opens Nov. 7. This sampling effort provides TPWD with confidence that CWD is not in the free-ranging deer populations at a significant prevalence rate, if at all.
TPWD would prefer to collect the tissue samples within 24 hours of harvest; however, the appropriate tissue samples will remain viable for a few days if the head is chilled soon after harvest, and remains chilled until the samples can be collected. It is very important that the deer head not be frozen.
Once collected by TPWD biologists, the samples will be submitted to the Texas A&M Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at no cost to the hunter, and test results should be made available to the hunter within 3-4 weeks. A hunter who allows for a CWD sample to be collected will be issued a receipt that can be used to track test results online.