2014-2015 Surveillance----Southcentral and Southwest Surveillance Zones
Federal funding was cut for statewide surveillance after the 2011 season. Only the oldest bucks (2.5+), vehicle-killed, and sick/suspect deer will be sampled and these will come from the Southcentral and Southwest zones of surveillance. Once the sample size of 458 is reached for each zone, sampling will cease.
We will be signing up taxidermists, who receive mostly Southcentral and Southwest Zone deer, to collect samples for CWD testing during the 2014-2015 seasons. Taxidermy deer are almost always the oldest animals in the population, which makes them the best specimens to detect a longer incubating, prion disease like CWD.
Sick/suspect deer discovered anywhere in the state will still be sampled and tested for CWD. All elk will be tested, no matter where they come from.
KDWPT recommends the following guidelines for hunters and wildlife watchers:
- Don’t bring CWD home with you. Hunters can leave CWD in the areas where it already occurs by not transporting deer or elk carcasses out of those places and into unexposed areas. KDWPT strongly recommendeds that hunters not transport carcasses into eastern Kansas from western Kansas or from states where CWD is endemic. Check the regulations where you hunt. Some states may prohibit you from transporting certain parts of a carcass from areas where CWD occurs. Some states may prohibit entire carcasses from being brought into their state, and others may have regulations that require certain parts of the carcass to remain attached while the carcass is in transport.
Deactivating prions is very difficult to accomplish. Normal frying/baking temperatures do not denature prions because denaturing by heat is thought to take 1800 degrees F, and baking and frying seldom exceed 500 degrees. However, a chemical called Environ LpH is thought to denature prions. 50% bleach may denature some prions, but may, in fact, make it easier to just wash prions off infected surfaces. Make sure to check with your taxidermist before soaking a skullcap in 50% bleach; they may want to do that in a more controlled setting.
- Dispose of carcasses properly. Especially when a deer is harvested in counties bordering Nebraska or Colorado, it is recommended that the carcass be kept in those counties, or if tranported outside the infected counties, be buried, composted, or disposed of in an approved landfill after the meat is boned out.
- Don’t train deer to congregate around bait piles. It is highly likely that enticing wild deer to congregate around bait piles may increase the chance of spreading CWD once a positive animal has visited the spot. A CWD-positive deer excretes more prions into the environment than accumulates in its brain over the course of its life. Other transmissible diseases, such as bovine tuberculosis, also spread to other animals at bait/feed stations. In dealing with any transmissible disease, the more animals that spend long periods of time in small or confined areas, the greater the danger that an area will become contaminated with infection-causing agents, whether they be bacteria, viruses, or the abnormal protein (prion) associated with CWD. Baiting and using various mineral blocks and lures to attract deer to a site may make that site deadly for deer to visit in the future. In the case of CWD, recent studies suggest that prions bind to soil particles, making them even more infectious than those passed from animal to animal.
- Alert local KDWPT officials if you notice a deer that is acting abnormally or appears unhealthy.
Currently, the Kansas deer herd remains strong & healthy. Kansas residents can help keep it that way by following the above recommendations. For more information visit the KDWPT Research and Survey Office, 1830 Merchant, Emporia, KS, 66801 or call 620-342-0658 Ext. 209 to report sick wildlife. If you feel an animal has been poached or killed illegally, call our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-877-426-3843. Thank you and good luck this season.