A deer shot during the regular gun season in Allamakee County was the lone positive out of more than 4,000 samples collected from 2013/14 looking for the presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Iowa.
That positive sample from a wild deer was the focus of three public meetings in April, where the DNR engaged Allamakee and Clayton County residents to work together to increase surveillance and the number of deer samples collected in a five mile radius from where the positive deer was harvested.
“This additional surveillance, along with more than 1,100 deer sampled in the past 12 years in this immediate area, will help us to determine if CWD has spread to other deer. If no further cases are found in the next three years, we will go back to routine testing,” said Dr. Dale Garner, chief of Wildlife for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “If additional cases are found, we will work with the public to decide how to proceed.”
Since 2002, the Iowa DNR has sampled nearly 51,000 wild deer and 3,500 captive deer and elk for CWD. A majority of samples came from 11 counties in northeast Iowa, which is the area closest to the CWD endemic areas in Wisconsin and Illinois, and Minnesota’s southeast containment area. The sampling effort also concentrated on three areas surrounding captive facilities that had animals test positive in Iowa in 2012 and the area north of where Missouri’s positive CWD deer have been found.
No additional positive CWD results have been found in wild deer. The DNR is encouraging the public to report all road kill deer, and sick or severely emaciated deer found in the targeted area by calling 563-546-7962 or 563-380-3422.
For more information contact Willie Suchy, Wildlife Research Supervisor, Wildlife Bureau, Iowa DNR, 515-281-8660