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CWD-9/7/16

th (2) Chronic-Wasting-Disease Chronic-Wasting-Disease-600x402

by Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

Along with mandatory game checks this upcoming deer season, another provision has been added to the mix. It is now illegal to bring any deer carcass into the state without first removing all brain and spinal cord tissues (or just cape out or debone the meat). This is very important for our local deer population because we are one of the few states that are not experiencing the traumatic effects of CWD.

It has been illegal to transport live deer across state lines for many years due to the potential of transmitting diseases and parasites, but now this law has been taken a step further. Chronic Wasting Disease stems from an abnormally formed protein that attacks the neurological aspects in white-tailed deer and elk mostly. It is transmitted through saliva, feces, urine and other bodily secretions (spinal and brain tissues as well). It is most deadly in free-ranging populations of deer and elk that share common areas. Once the Cervid has contracted the disease, muscle wasting begins to take place as well as excessive urination and salivation. The animal usually only survives a few months after contracting the disease, but can live up to one year. There is no cure for this disease, thus the importance of keeping this disease OUT of Alabama! This disease has no mercy and can quickly decimate a population. I know that many Alabama hunters travel to other states where CWD is prevalent and kill trophy bucks. Please cape out your deer before bringing it back home. This is the only way to really prevent the disease from getting into our state.

Chronic Wasting Disease is something that is very serious to free-ranging deer herds in North America. Luckily, Alabama is one of few states that have no reports of a CWD outbreak and we need to keep it that way! CWD can be transmitted easily from bringing infected body tissues into the area and exposing other deer. Go kill a big Kansas buck, but don’t bring back any spinal or brain tissues with you, just the material for a great mount and of course the venison. If you believe you have a CWD outbreak on your property or suspect the symptoms in a doe or buck, do not hesitate to contact the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division at 334-242-3469.

By: Meaghan English

My name is Meaghan English, a wildlife specialist with TrueSouth. I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management and I have grown up with a passion for hunting. I knew from an early age that I was not only interested in the harvesting of wildlife, but I was also very interested in their biology and management. I decided that I not only wanted to be a wildlife enthusiast, I want to be an educated wildlife specialist. I will be using that grand education as a member of the TrueSouth team contributing wildlife blog articles!

My first hunting memory flashes back to when I was six or seven years old. Like any other Saturday during deer season, my dad had told my mom to get me ready because we were going hunting. Of course I was ecstatic! I was not ecstatic about the hair bow my mom made me wear with my camouflage (she wanted everyone to know I was in fact a fashionable girl). The entire way to Perdue Hill, Alabama, my dad told me that today would be the first day I would actually shoot my first deer and I knew I was ready. We pulled up to the camp, unloaded, and fed all the “camp cats”. Before we headed to our stand, I had spotted three kittens that I simply could not leave behind so I stuffed them in my jacket. After walking what seemed like five miles, we finally made it to the “Pressbox stand” (with my smuggled kittens) and sat down. Dad continuously pestered me to be quiet, but I wasn’t that worried about shooting a deer, I had kittens! Eventually, the sun began to sink behind the trees and a spike (without olfactory senses) entered the field. When it was safe to quietly move, dad handed me the gun and I handed him my three kittens. I slowly pulled the gun up and placed my cheek against the stock. Dad told me to breathe slowly and pull the trigger when I was ready. Sure enough, I pulled the trigger and the spike hit the ground. We high-fived, exchanged kittens again, and climbed down to see the kill. It certainly was not a wall hanger, but a huge chapter in my life was started that night. My dad and I still hunt together to this day and we practice quality deer management at all times.

My ultimate goal is to provide clients with a survey of flora and fauna that currently inhabit a specific tract of land and, if desired, how to properly manage that land for the species that are found there. All feedback is greatly appreciated and I look forward to working with you!

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