Each year the Alaska Department of Fish and Game asks deer hunters to donate the heads of their catch so they can be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease. The disease is not prevalent in Alaska, but it is a problem the lower 48. Fish and Game is currently conducting a testing program to monitor for the possible appearance of the disease in Alaska and has a drop box where people can deposit their deer heads for testing. KMXT’s Erik Wander has more.
Vicki Vanek is a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
— (Vanek 1 50 sec "We just started as a pilot program … disease in AlaskaS.")
Vanek said chronic wasting disease, which can affect deer, moose, elk and caribou is not unlike mad cow disease. She said the dangers the disease poses to wild populations are crucial to understand.
— (Vanek 2 52 sec "It’s a relative of … come into the state at all.")
Vanek urged hunters to drop off their deer heads for testing and said keeping the heads intact can be arranged.
— (Vanek 3 48 sec "They can cut off antlers … that can certainly be arranged.")
Vanek said fish and game is far short of the number of deer they would like to see tested this year and would appreciate any deer samples they can get from the end of the hunting season. Kodiak is the only location in the sate where chronic wasting disease testing is being conducted. For more information on the deer head drop box, contact fish and game. I’m Erik Wander.