Arizona Game and Fish asks hunters to bring in harvested deer, elk heads to check for disease

Nov 21, 2022, 4:05 AM | Updated: 7:27 am
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal wildlife nervous system disease that affects deer and elk with no known cure.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking hunters to bring the heads of their harvested deer and elk to a department office so it can be checked for the disease.

AZGFD has not come across any cases of CWD in the more than 500 deer and elk that have been tested this fall, although neighboring states Colorado, Utah and New Mexico have found cases, according to a press release.

Those who elect to bring the heads in are recommended to do so in a heavy-duty plastic trash bag and keep them cold or frozen.

Hunters will need to give accurate hunt information — such as hunt number, game management unit in which the animal was harvested, state and hunting license number — which could prove vital in case he disease is detected.

Offices are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and AZGFD asks those who intend to deliver a head to call in advance.

Symptoms of CWD include drastic weight loss, stumbling, listlessness and other neurological ailments. The disease spreads through direct contact.

Hunters are asked to contact AZGFD at 1-800-352-0700 if they see an animal that show symptoms of CWD.

The disease has not shown to affect humans.

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Arizona Game and Fish asks hunters to bring in harvested deer, elk heads to check for disease