As part of its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance program, MassWildlife has been taking samples of brain tissue and lymph nodes from hunter-harvested deer. CWD is a contagious neurological disease fatal to deer, elk, and moose. With the advent of the deer hunting season, MassWildlife would like to remind deer hunters to consider providing a sample for CWD testing. During the bow hunting season, hunters who want to provide a sample may check their deer or bring their deer head to the Western District Office in Pittsfield, the Northeast District Office in Acton, or the Westborough Field Headquarters. Hunters may also inquire of meat cutters if they are participating in collecting deer heads for MassWildlife and refer them to our CWD biologist, Nicki Hamilton-Smith (413/885-5725), if they wish to take part. During the shotgun season, about one third of the deer check stations will be set up to collect deer heads. Another option is to leave a message with Nicki Hamilton-Smith at the above number; she can make arrangements for pick-up.

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