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Partnership aims to empower more Iowans to help slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

  • 10/19/2021 9:13:00 AM
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Fall is upon us, which means more than 160,000 Iowans will soon be hitting the field for Iowa’s famed white-tailed deer hunting season. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) is once again asking hunters to help fight chronic wasting disease in the deer herd.

A new educational program offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in partnership with the Iowa DNR, aims to teach hunters, landowners, and those interested in conservation what they can do to help.

The program, called Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors, will train participants in the science-based management of the always-fatal disease that has been found in wild deer in at least 10 Iowa counties. The course will cover best practices for preventing spread of the disease, how to collect tissue samples for testing, and how to educate others within their community, all in an effort to better educate Iowans on how to manage a healthy deer herd and slow the spread of the disease.

The course will be held three nights in November (November 4, 11, and 18) from 6-8 p.m. at the Allamakee Farm Bureau building, in Waukon. Materials created by Iowa State University and the Iowa DNR will be provided to participants for review between classes.

“A healthy deer herd is important for all Iowans, which is why we’re excited to offer this class with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to empower local communities to help slow the spread of this disease,” said Tyler Harms, biometrician and deer program leader for the Iowa DNR. “Our greatest success in this effort will come from a strong partnership among all Iowans.”

Those interested in learning more about the three-day course can visit the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach webpage at

Registration is also available at the above link or by contacting course facilitator Adam Janke at or 515-294-7429. Registration is open until Nov. 2. The course is free to participate.

A light meal and refreshments will be served at each of the three sessions. Sessions will include instruction on the ecology of chronic wasting disease, hands-on exercises, sampling for the disease, and networking with area wildlife biologists. The course will also include resources for ambassadors to share within their networks and communities.