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By Pam Reinig

Register Editor


The results from the deer samples taken last month during a DNR-authorized special collection have been received, and the news is good: No additional signs of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) were found.

According to Terry Haindfield, a wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 158 deer were harvested, including 20 fawns that were not tested due to their young age. The DNR issued 123 permits to 456 hunters. More than one person could be listed on a permit.

The special collection was authorized after a deer killed five miles northeast of Elkader last December tested positive for CWD. It was the first CWD-positive animal in more than 7,000 deer tested in Clayton County. There have been 17 positive cases in neighboring Allamakee County since 2013.

Haindfield called the recent test results “great news.” However, he added, the overall health of the local deer population needs continuous monitoring. To that end, the DNR will collect samples next fall during the regular hunting season. Haindfield also urged residents to do their part to control the spread of the disease by not feeding deer. The practice encourages large numbers of animals to gather in a small space thus increasing the likelihood of animal-to-animal contact, which is a primary means of transferring the disease. In addition, any animals that look sick should be reported to the DNR. Symptoms of CWD include extreme weight loss, excessive salivation, holding the head in a lowered position, and drooping ears. There are other suggestions that pertain specifically to the hunting season, including proper disposal of deer remains after processing meat.

For more information, contact Haindfield at 563-546-7960 or call the Upper Iowa Wildlife Unit at 563-546-7962.

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