Elk NetworkArkansas Hunters Step Up, Assist Fight against CWD

Conservation | December 7, 2018

Want another example how Hunting Is Conservation? In Arkansas, hunters are doing their part to help wildlife managers in the fight against chronic wasting disease.

They voluntarily provided more than 5,300 biological samples from harvested deer to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) so far this hunting season, helping AGFC to continue monitoring the distribution of CWD in the state. With almost a month of the firearms deer season and two additional months of archery season left, new samples are still coming in on a daily basis.

“This is a huge increase over samples collected by this time during last year’s deer season,” said AJ Riggs, wildlife health biologist for the AGFC’s Research, Evaluation and Compliance Division. “For comparison, this same period for 2017, a total of 2,607 hunter-harvested samples were collected.”

A large portion of the samples collected so far this year has come through the agency’s new system of unmanned CWD testing drop-off containers placed throughout the state.

CWD is a fatal neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in cervids – deer, elk and moose. The disease attacks the brains of infected animals and produces small lesions that result in death. There is no cure; once an animal is infected, it will die.

For more information about CWD, go to the chronic wasting disease alliance website.

(Photo source: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission)