Chronic Wasting Disease Sampling in Ecru

ECRU, Miss. (WCBI)- The season begins for deer hunters with rifles, but this year hunters need to be cautious.

This deer season started off with some unsettling news. Pontotoc County had a confirmed case of Chronic Wasting Disease.

Now, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is hoping to find out how this could affect deer population.

“It’s important to test deer primarily to help us get a handle on the disease. We only have one sick animal so right now we don’t know exactly where the hot spot is. We don’t know what the prevalence is in the population and those are things that we really need to know to determine management actions in the future,” said John Gruchy.

The MDWFP has placed check stations in Pontotoc in hopes that hunters will come out to get their deer tested for CWD.

“We’ve been testing for chronic wasting disease the department has since 2005, and since 2005 we’ve tested over 16,000 animals this is only so far there’s only been three positives in the entire state, and this is one of them,” said Gruchy.

Hunters have been encouraged to get their deer tested before this year, but not everyone took the time.

“No, it’s the first time. Well I’m kind of worried about getting them just wanna make sure the meats right,” said Johnny Hardin.

John Gruchy says local hunters are helping the testing process.

“Our hunters, for the most part, have been responding really well in Pontotoc; as a matter fact, I would say this has been really uplifting for the department. This is a hard disease to combat. It’s a hard fight and the citizens of Pontotoc and Union County, the supervisors the town of Ecru and everybody has really come together. The hunters especially they’ve gotten behind this effort, and they really come together to try to help a sample dear they’re reporting sick animals when they see it they are also bringing their hunter harvests to come in example,” said Gruchy.

MDWFP tells us tells us this is the first time CWD was found during deer season in Mississippi.

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