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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting a series of meetings in early October to discuss the changes and new focus areas to its efforts to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Iowa’s deer herd.
Meetings are scheduled for Oct. 4, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Wayne County Fairgrounds 4H building in Corydon; Oct. 8, from 6:30–8 p.m. at the Correctionville Community Center, in Correctionville; Oct. 9, from 2-3:30 p.m., at Bass Pro Shops in Council Bluffs; and Oct. 9, from 6:30-8 p.m., Mills County Conservation Nature Center, in Pacific Junction. The meetings are open to the public.
The Iowa DNR added three new deer management zones and a January antlerless deer season in Wayne, Allamakee and Clayton counties. Appanoose County will be part of the January antlerless season. It also increased the number of deer tissue samples in the counties along the Missouri River that borders Nebraska due to deer testing positive for the disease last year in Nebraska.
“We will discuss the increased surveillance effort and how hunters can help us just by doing what they do – hunting deer,” Haindfield said. “These meetings will also allow hunters and landowners an opportunity to get their questions answered and to discuss their concerns with our staff.”
The Iowa DNR will present information on CWD, inform the public about increased surveillance sampling of deer from counties along the river, and request help from deer hunters for tissue samples during the upcoming fall and winter deer seasons.
There are several things hunters can do to stop or slow the spread of CWD, Haindfield said, including not leaving the deer carcass on the landscape or using feed or salt-mineral to attract deer.
“The first and most important thing hunters can do is to allow sampling of hunter harvested deer,” he said. “Deer hunting is an important tradition and, for some, a large part of their identity. It is also important to us and we need to work together to combat this disease. Our goal is to provide quality deer hunting for future generations.”
CWD is a neurological disease belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. It attacks the brain of infected deer and elk causing the animals to lose weight, display abnormal behavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infected animal.
The Iowa DNR has more information about CWD and other infectious disease online at www.iowadnr.gov/cwd.
Any person attending the public meeting and has special requirements such as those related to mobility or hearing impairments should contact the DNR or ADA Coordinator at 515-725-8200, Relay Iowa TTY Service 800-735-7942, or Webmaster@dnr.iowa.gov, and advise of specific needs.