Archery hunters can continue to assist the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s efforts to monitor for chronic wasting disease (CWD) by providing a sample from their deer harvested during the late archery season.
You can assist by bringing in the head of your recently harvested deer to any Game and Fish Department office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Place the head in a heavy plastic garbage bag for delivery, and keep it cool and out of the sun.
In particular, the department is seeking to reach its target number of samples from deer harvested in certain areas of southern Arizona. “Currently, we are short our desired number of samples from Tucson Mountain Park and adjacent to Metro Tucson, as well as from Game Management Units 37A and 37B,” says Gerry Perry, supervisor for the department’s Tucson region. “We’d like to have at least five more samples from each management unit.”
If you harvest a deer in any of these units, please contact the Game and Fish Tucson office at (520) 628-5376 to coordinate a time that a lymph node can be extracted from the harvested animal’s throat. The sample must include the head and a few inches of the neck below the throat to access the node. There is no charge for the sampling, and this effort is strictly voluntary.
CWD is a neurological disease that is fatal to deer and elk. It has not yet been detected in Arizona, but it has been found in three neighboring states—Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. The department has tested more than 8,300 deer and elk in Arizona since beginning its monitoring program in 1998. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans.
To learn more about CWD, visit www.azgfd.gov/cwd.