Years ago we might have thought that Louisiana was just one of God's chosen or we were too careful to ever allow Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, to affect the huge whitetail herd that call the Bayou State home.

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Turns out we were neither. Well, I still hold the opinion that God shows us a little favoritism, but neither his favor nor any "protection" we might have instilled in Louisiana hunters prevented our deer herd from being infected by the devasting CWD.

CWD Was First Discovered In Louisiana On January 28, 2022

We did manage to keep it at arm's distance for a number of years while other states were already engaged in the battle, but in January of 2022, CWD was first discovered in an adult buck harvested in Tensas Parish.

Photo by Gary McCoy
Photo by Gary McCoy

Immediately, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries instituted a supplemental feeding ban in what they call a "CWD Management Zone" inclusive of Tensas, Madison and Franklin parishes to mitigate spread of CWD.

For the most part, any additional reports of CWD in Louisiana were non-existent or simply flew under the radar. Until now, that is.

Now Louisiana Has Seen 6 More Harvested Deer Test Positive For CWD

In an article from the Louisiana Radio Network, we learn that a second case of CWD was confirmed in December and now another five suspected cases of CWD have been discovered by hunters on private land in Tensas Parish.

This might lead a good number of deer hunters to wonder if Louisiana might be looking at a possible CWD crisis.  But, with the outbreak so centralized, it might actually not be a statewide issue.  According to State Wildlife Veterinarian Jim LaCour,  “We’re getting more and more samples in a more and more concentrated area, and we’re kind of zeroing in on the main area of the CWD infection of deer in Louisiana.”

If Your Harvested Deer Tests Positive, It's Not A Good Idea To Eat It

Though CWD has not been found to be contagious to humans, CDC recommends against human consumption of deer known to be positive. Of that, LaCour says, “Anyone hunting in an area where CWD has been found should have their deer tested prior to consumption.”

LaCour also said that additional free testing of harvested animals is relatively easy to get done as coolers are placed throughout the CWD Control Area for hunters to submit samples, and testing results across the state will be posted on the LDWF website. LaCour hopes the efforts of hunters and biologists across the state will help to mitigate the spread of the disease.

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