Arkansas Outdoors

New Drop-off Locations for Deer Disease Tests

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission announced new drop-off locations for Chronic Wasting Disease. 

The test is free for hunters in that Natural State who use one of the new 40 sites.  

This is only the third hunting season since the  neurological disease that infects deer first appeared in Arkansas. 

CLICK for a link to the locations. 

There's not a scientific link that the disease transfers to humans, according to the CDC and AR State Health Department. There is still research being conducted on the topic.

Both departments urge people who hunt in areas with confirmed cases of deer with reported Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to strongly consider testing the meat before eating it. 

One of the new coolers and location sites is outside the Damascus Community Center on Highway 65 in Van Buren County. 

We met Karen Martin next door Friday.

She said, "I think we got close to 2000 books for sale."

The small town librarian prepared for next week's big used book sale by unpacking boxes Friday. 

When we asked her if she hunts she replied, "Uh no. ot my thing."

She may not be a hunter but she's seen the flashing sign in front of the library and knew what that meant. 

"I mean if you live in Arkansas you're going to run into a deer hunter," Martin said.

We met with the Chief of Game and Fish's Research Divsion Cory Gray Friday morning. 

He said, "We understand some hunters are concerned about this disease especially consuming the venison."

Gray said the new drop offs give hunters a free, accessible way they can submit a sample of their deer to be tested for the disease.

"We ask they submit the head of their harvested deer. They'll tag it and place it in a bag in these coolers," he told us. 

The program intends to bring in more samples that can help researches learn more about CWD.

Gray said, "The higher the number of samples the clearer picture we have of the disease."

We asked Martin what she thought of her small town having one of the sites. 

She replied, "I'm proud that our community is in the know and trying to help folks out. That's what we try to do in Damascus."

The woman known in town as Mrs.Karen hopes to get rid of books next week at the big sale. 

"It benefits the library and what children do here," she explained.

While researchers look to see just how many more samples the drop offs may bring in. 

The test is free to hunters that use the new drop off locations. 

Results take about 10 days to return.

During that time AGFC recommends people freeze the meat until they hear back the results. 

CLICK to go to AGFC CWD web page. 

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