Wildlife Resources Agency staff recently responded to a call in Henry County about a 3.5-year-old doe who was thin and exhibiting strange behavior. Multiple tests confirmed that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was present. This result changes Henry County status to positive due to its proximity to the county border, and changes Weakley County to high-risk.
As a result, carcass transport, feeding, and mineral placement regulations are immediately triggered in both Henry and Weakley counties.
Henry County is located on the northwestern border of the state and is considered part of West Tennessee.
Since 2018, TWRA has employed a rigorous CWD surveillance program developed by world-renowned CWD data analysts, biologists and epidemiologists. Hunters, processors and landowners have helped TWRA sample over 800 deer in Henry and Weakley counties, far exceeding our testing goals.
Hunters are advised to know the rules around transport and feeding and are asked to report any sick deer on the TRWA website.
The new situation will be addressed at the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Sept. 16-17. Decisions regarding other regulations will be made at that time.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission has instituted deer carcass exportation and wildlife feeding restrictions to positive and high-risk counties to best manage CWD in the state.
Supplemental feeding of wildlife is banned in high-risk and positive counties. Placement of grains, salt products and other consumable products for wildlife is prohibited. The ban does not apply to feed placed within 100 feet of a residence, feed placed in a manner not accessible to deer, or feed and minerals as the result of normal agricultural practices.
Food plots are still legal in affected counties. CWD sampling opportunities are available throughout Unit CWD at sampling drop-off locations, processors and taxidermists. It typically takes about 2 weeks to get results after samples have been submitted. However, it may take up to 3 to 4 weeks during the holidays and peak of the hunting season.
The goal is to keep CWD from spreading, keeping the number of diseased deer in the affected area to a minimum, and reducing disease rates where possible. To achieve that goal, the Fish and Wildlife Commission established a CWD deer unit with specific science-based and data-driven regulations.