Deer hunters and state taxidermists will be entered into a contest for $1,000 and $500 gift cards, respectively, when they submit a sample from a mature buck harvested in the 2021-22 deer season in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced.
All submitted samples will be tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD), assisting LDWF with their surveillance monitoring for this disease, which is 100-percent fatal in deer.
The prizes are made possible by the South Louisiana Branch of the National Deer Association, assisting the efforts of LDWF to increase surveillance for CWD.
Hunters become eligible to win the $1,000 gift card by submitting a sample to LDWF for testing from a mature buck harvested in Louisiana during the 2021-22 deer season.
Taxidermists will be entered to win the $500 gift card by submitting samples from mature bucks harvested in Louisiana during the 2021-22 deer season. Both drawings will be held March 18, 2022.
Participants are asked to contact their local LDWF Field Office to submit a sample. For more information and complete contest rules go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cwd-contest.
CWD, a fatal neurologic disease of deer, has not been detected in Louisiana. However, all three neighboring states, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi, have reported positive tests. Continued sampling throughout the state remains vitally important and LDWF is asking hunters to help.
The disease is spread by contact with infected saliva, blood, urine, feces, food, water, and soil. It can be transmitted from live animals or carcasses, and creates holes in the brain tissue of infected animals. Infection with CWD can occur in deer of any sex and age, but higher infection rates are typically noted in mature bucks.
Symptoms can show 16 months or more after infection. Those symptoms include weight loss, excessive salivation, teeth grinding, head tremors, difficulty swallowing, excessive urination and thirst, incoordination, splay leg stance, lowered head and ears, fixed stare, fainting and lack of awareness.
Prior to hunting deer, all deer hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain deer tags and have tags in possession when hunting deer. Immediately upon harvesting a deer, the hunter must tag the deer with the appropriate license tag before it is moved from the harvest site.
The hunter must record the date of harvest and the parish on the carcass tag. Within 72 hours, the hunter must validate the harvest online using the LDWF website.