DES MOINES – Iowa DNR wildlife biologists will be collecting tissue samples from deer harvested during the first two days of the first shotgun season looking for the presence of chronic wasting disease. The DNR has check stations in the northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque and Jackson. Hunter participation is completely voluntary.
“We hope hunters cooperate with us to help monitor the health of the state’s deer population,” said Dale Garner, DNR wildlife biologist who is heading up the collection effort. The DNR hopes to collect 2,000 samples from the four northeast Iowa counties and another 1,500 samples from the rest of the state. If the quota is not met, the DNR will continue the effort during the second shotgun season.
Hunters will be asked their name, address, phone number and where they harvested the deer. The hunters will receive the test results when they are available. Results may take three to six months, perhaps longer.
The DNR will remove the brain stem and lymph nodes of the deer and will send the samples to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames for testing.
“It could take as little as 10 minutes to collect the sample, but that depends on the number of hunters who participate,” Garner said.
The check stations are, the Allamakee County Fairgrounds on the north edge of Waukon; the Yellow River State Forest headquarters, 4 miles southwest of Harpers Ferry; Guttenberg Municipal Boat Landing on the south edge of town on River Park Dr.; the Iowa DOT maintenance garage, 1 mile north of Dyersville; Swiss Valley County Park, 3 miles southwest of Dubuque; the Iowa DOT maintenance garage on the edge of Maquoketa; and the Green Island Wildlife Management Area headquarters, 8 miles southeast of Bellevue.
Hunters outside those four northeast Iowa counties should check with their local wildlife biologist for specific information on sample collections in their area. Phone numbers for the biologists are in the 2002 Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Regulations.
Deer hunters may be facing some requirements when they finish processing their animal and are ready to dispose of the remains. Landfills in Iowa must either accept deer remains or provide an alternative method of disposal.
The Iowa DNR has worked with landfills across Iowa to determine deer disposal methods. The disposal requirements are set by individual landfills which may include a disposal fee. Information on landfill requirements will be available on the internet on Nov. 27 at www.iowadnr.wmad.org. Look under Hot Topics.
Meat lockers processing deer will also be working with local landfills to dispose of the remains of the deer they process. Hunters taking deer to a locker may be charged a small fee to pay for disposal. Contact the locker directly for additional information. A list of Iowa meat lockers processing deer is on the internet at www.state.ia.us/wildlife.