VIDEO, PHOTOS: Eyes on the walleye prize

Angler breaks Missouri trout record

September 20, 2019 Comments Off on Arkansas adds wasting disease testing sites Hunting, Latest

Arkansas adds wasting disease testing sites

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is expanding opportunities for hunters to get their deer tested for chronic wasting disease.
More than 130 testing locations have been established through regional offices, drop-off locations and participating taxidermists. All of these options are free to the hunter and voluntary.
New cases of the disease have been found in surrounding states, far away from Arkansas’s known chronic wasting disease management zones,according to the commission. Many hunters in other parts of Arkansas may want to have their deer tested.
Although no verified cases of the disease being transmitted to humans exist, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly encourages everyone to have deer from a known disease-positive area tested before consuming the meat.
“We now have drop-off sample locations throughout the state,” said A.J. Riggs, Game and Fish wildlife health biologist. “Close to 70% of the state is within a 20 minute drive of a testing location, and the rest of the state is still within a half-hour or so.”
Many of the free testing locations available to hunters are voluntary drop-off freezers that allow hunters to drop off samples with their contact information. Many of these locations are available 24 hours a day. Game and Fish began implementing this network of freezers last deer season.
“Last year, we brought in about 1,200 samples through our freezer collection points in its first year,” Riggs said.
To have a deer tested, bring its head with 4 to 6 inches of the neck attached and any antlers removed to the location and place it in one of the provided plastic bags with your name and contact information on the card provided.
Game and Fish will collect these samples and have them analyzed by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission laboratory. Testing results should be available within two to three weeks.
“Our average turnaround time has been much better than that, but hunters should plan for the two- to three-week window to store their deer in a freezer before processing or eating the meat,” Riggs said.
Test results will be posted through a secure system at
“We also will call the hunter personally for any test that comes back with CWD being detected,” Riggs said. “We can make arrangements to dispose of the meat properly for them and give them an additional deer tag.”
Replacement deer tags will be issued to enable hunters the opportunity to harvest an additional doe to make up for the meat lost. Additional buck tags will not be issued as hunters will be allowed to retain the antlers of their deer for taxidermy purposes. Antlers, teeth, hides and cleaned skull plates are all low-risk items in spreading the disease.