Deer found in Mississippi tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

Published 7:15 am Sunday, January 2, 2022

A deer found in Warren County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks announced Thursday.

The mature buck was reported to MDWFP in mid-December as potentially diseased given its drastically emaciated and lethargic condition. It was found approximately 4 miles north of Vicksburg and 4.5 miles south of where the first CWD-positive white-tailed deer was detected in Mississippi, in Issaquena County in 2018.

The sample is considered “suspect positive” through initial testing and will be sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa for final confirmation.

Since February 2018, 111 CWD-positive white-tailed deer have been detected across nine counties in Mississippi. Two have come from Issaquena County, but this would be the first from Warren County. More than half of the confirmed cases — 57 total — have been in Benton County, along the Tennessee state line in North Central Mississippi.

CWD is a contagious and fatal neurological disease that typically causes deer to have tremors and other movement problems. The disease is most easily transmitted through saliva. Decomposing carcasses can also transmit the disease into soil and plant material and introduce it to new areas.

The disease is not transmittable to humans, but hunters are still advised to exercise caution and not eat any potentially infected animal.

For the remainder of the 2021–22 hunting season, MDWFP still plans to rely on hunter-harvested deer to detect potential CWD cases. Hunters can submit deer for testing at established freezer locations or participating taxidermists.

There are two drop-off locations in Warren County and one in Issaquena County:

• Communication Specialists, 760 U.S. 61 North in Vicksburg
• The Phil Bryant Wildlife Management Area, 11641 Mississippi 465
• Mahannah Wildlife Management Area, 1370 Anderson-Tully Rd. in Redwood

All three sites have freezers available 24 hours a day where hunters can deposit deer heads for testing. Hunters should preserve the head with at least 6 inches of neck attached. The antlers may be removed before depositing the head.

Hunters can also call taxidermists Michael Ray Fuson at 601-218-1875 or Steven George at 601-831-0789 to collect their samples.

For more drop-off locations and information on CWD, visit the MDWFP website.