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Photograph by Joe Mac Hudspeth, Jr. · www.southernfocus.com

Magazine


CWD is Cause for Concern, but not Panic

From the Spring 2018 issue

John Murry Greelee It’s human nature to be fearful of the unknown. And it is often the unknown that makes us resistant to change. But like it or not, the discovery of Chronic Waste Disease in the South Delta mandates change in the way we will manage deer, hunt deer, and process venison from this point forward in Mississippi. The good news is, the Delta Wildlife staff and others in the academic community have told me the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is doing a good job in its approach to better defining the problem and taking action to minimize the spread of CWD. Furthermore, those who have spoken with hunters in other states who have hunted in CWD Management Zones for years almost always comment, “it’s not a big deal.” We will be learning much more about the current situation we face in the South Delta in regards to CWD. MDWFP has tested an additional 64 deer from the area since the original detection, none of which tested positive. These means the CWD Management Zone map that was published on the MDWFP website will remain the primary focus of control efforts in 2018. But when, or if, new deer test positive for CWD, then we can expect the management zone to grow in size.

More recent flooding in the South Delta will likely complicate matters. But MDWFP is doing all it can to control what it can.

MDWFP is hosting multiple CWD Meetings around the state for people to learn more about how they intend to address this issue. Delta Wildlife is also sharing all the information we can gather. We all have much to learn about CWD and the size of the issue we face here in Mississippi. But it will take some time to define the latter.