Louisiana's whitetail deer herd dodged the bullet for a long time, but it would appear those days have come to a screeching halt.

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Last week we reported that a whitetail deer was harvested in Tensas Parish that was suspected to be the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Louisiana.

Over the weekend, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries confirmed that the suspected case did indeed test positive for the always fatal disease.

getty images
getty images

In conjunction with the findings of this positive case, in accordance with a Declaration of Emergency order by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC), the LDWF has imposed an immediate feeding and carcass export ban on deer in Tensas, Franklin and Madison parishes.

What Does the Declaration of Emergency Order Mean?

Here's what the order means:

  • All supplemental feeding, including mineral or salt licks, is prohibited in Tensas, Franklin and Madison parishes. The purpose of this feeding ban is to reduce the potential for the spread of CWD in Louisiana by reducing the risk of exposure when deer are concentrated around feeding sites.
  • The use of approved bait not normally ingested by deer for feral hog trapping will be allowed. All bait must be placed and contained within the trap itself. Backyard bird feeders are also exempt from this supplemental feeding prohibition.
  • The export of cervid carcasses or part of a cervid carcass originating within Tensas Franklin and Madison parishes is prohibited, except for: meat that is cut and wrapped; meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached, antlers, clean skull plates with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth.
Photo by Gary McCoy
Photo by Gary McCoy

This Declaration will remain in effect for the maximum period allowed under the Administrative Procedure Act or until rescinded or modified by the Secretary.

Not to sound like a doomsdayer, but with this first case of CWD now confirmed in Louisiana, it does make hunters consider what the future of deer hunting in the state might look like.

What parishes are most likely to see the next case(s) of CWD?  Will corn feeders and food plots be a thing of the past?  Is this discovery a threat to deer hunting on the whole?

While I would never want to promote getting the wagon ahead of the mule, I certainly believe Louisiana's deer hunters need to stay informed now more than ever.

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