Testing began not long after a 4½-year-old buck tested positive in Issaquena County. All deer killed for testing since then have been within a 25-mile radius of where that whitetail was located. A total of 1,800 have been tested since last October. No other positive cases have been found.
For those wondering, the only way to get an idea of the current prevalence rate is to test deer. There is currently no approved live test and therefore deer must be killed in order to test them.
Many people aren’t aware of CWD, or simply don’t understand the full breadth of the threat it poses. CWD is caused by an abnormal protein referred to as a prion. Prions are neither alive nor dead. You can’t kill CWD with heat or chemicals.
Once contracted, it is an always-fatal disease that thrives in the nervous system of cervids (deer, elk, reindeer and moose). It can be passed on through saliva, urine, feces, spinal and brain fluids, etc. Similar diseases affect other animals such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) which is also referred to as Mad Cow Disease. It’s also found in sheep, known as Scrapie. Interestingly enough, we already know that Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) — a sister disease to BSE and CWD — is capable of infecting humans.
Whitetails make the hunting world go round. Josh Honeycutt, deer hunting editor and "Brow Tines and Backstrap" blogger, knows a fair bit about killing mature deer. He was raised up hunting the river bottoms of Kentucky. And he still hunts there—among other places—to this day.
Follow along as he shares his adventures, experiences and knowledge of the white-tailed deer.