Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is asking deer hunters to again help monitor the status of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the state.

Bruce Trindle, a fish and wildlife specialist in the disease section of the Commissions wildlife division, said biologists hope to collect retropharyngeal lymph nodes from 6,000 deer across the state this year. These lymph nodes are located in the deers neck and can be quickly removed by biologists working at deer check stations.

Trindle says collecting the samples is very important. “Biologists in Colorado and Wyoming have found that the incidence of CWD is as much as twice as high in older bucks than in younger deer. To accurately monitor the extent of CWD in Nebraska, biologists must collect samples from more older deer than they have in the past.

“The samples are taken from deer being tagged at the check station only if the hunter who bagged the deer agrees to their removal,” Trindle said. “Allowing us to remove the retropharyngeal lymph nodes is a voluntary decision on the hunters part and obtaining the samples is very important to us. This isnt a meat safety inspection — there doesnt appear to be a health problem. We are just trying to determine the spread of the disease.”

“It only takes a minute of the hunters time at the check station. If the hunter agrees to allow us to take samples from the deer and would like a report of our findings, he simply fills out a card and we will send him the results of the test. There is no charge involved,” Trindle said.

Not everyone who takes their deer to a check station will be asked to allow samples to be taken, because each station has a different quota biologists would like filled.

Trindle said, “Were asking hunters to consider allowing us to remove the deers lymph nodes. It is very important to our efforts to monitor and control the spread of CWD.”