Arkansas deer licenses are expected to fall after a CWD outbreak.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission addressed hunters' concerns over CWD and the disease's effect on game meat. There have been over 50 positive cases confirmed in the state this year and officials expect the number of license sales to decline.
Although studies maintain the disease cannot be transmitted to humans, officials remind hunters to avoid deer that appear to be sick and to stay away from any spinal or lymph node tissue during processing.
When asked about deer harvested in areas where animals have tested positive for CWD, Arkansas Game and Fish Spokesman Brad Carner said, "If the animal appears to be healthy, even if it is from that infected area, I wouldn't have any concerns with eating that animal. I wouldn't necessarily need to test it."
Unfortunately, Chronic Wasting Disease is an issue hunters' must learn to face. When it comes to consumption, these concerns are valid. The good news is that these are small cases compared to the overall deer population and with common sense and clean processing techniques, hunters should not be discouraged to pick up their bow or rifle and hit the deer woods again this year.