A deer harvested in Shelby County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The CWD-positive deer changes Shelby County from being a high-risk CWD county to a CWD-positive county.
Shelby County is already a part of Unit CWD, which means Unit CWD hunting regulations apply there as well as the deer carcass exportation and wildlife feeding restrictions applying to all high-risk and positive counties. The only change for Shelby County will be reclassification to CWD-positive and, as a result, an automatic slight change to carcass exportation restrictions there.
“The CWD-positive deer was a 2 1/2-year-old buck harvested in the Shelby County portion of the Wolf River Wildlife Management Area,” said Chuck Yoest, CWD coordinator. “This comes as no surprise since CWD had already been detected nearby in neighboring Fayette County.”
The Fish and Wildlife Commission 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.
TWRA continues heavy sampling for CWD in and around Unit CWD and expects to find many more positive deer this season, as compared to the 186 found at the end of last deer season.
The Agency also expects more of the five remaining high-risk counties to be reclassified to positive once the agency has a more complete understanding of where CWD has reached. This is not due to matters quickly getting worse, but due to the greater focus and increased sampling.
To stay up to date on the latest developments in CWD in the state, check the revamped website, CWDinTennessee.com.