Popular hunting states are in overdrive studying the effects of chronic wasting disease.
Joining the list of states paying close attention the impact of CWD are South Dakota and Minnesota. Both states had a significant number of disease reports last year. This year, they're going after the disease in big ways.
Researchers in Minnesota recently began working to tag 115 deer near Preston as part of their studies. The group will net the animals from a helicopter, do a brief study of the animal, and release them with a GPS collar to track their whereabouts and mortality rates. A follow-up capture will take place next year with another 60 deer.
Some research has shown that CWD causes a mortality rate 3 times quicker than normal.
South Dakota also recently conducted a similar tagging exercise. In a conversation with Nick Rossman, regional game manager for the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, we learned that the state is conducting a survey of four key areas in the state.
"It's a big statewide effort," Rossman says.
The multi-year study may take some time to complete, but the information could prove invaluable. Data collected will not only help officials determine the number of tags to make available to hunters, but it'll also help them understand herd movement and harvest rates.
Rossman urged that hunters shouldn't consider the collared deer an added trophy.
"Treating these collared deer as you normally would will be the only way we get accurate data," he said.
We've been covering the impacts of CWD for some time now. Hopefully efforts by these states will help determine a solution for the deadly disease.
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