Archery Deer Hunting Opens Sept 15th

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This years archery deer hunting season opens Sept. 15 throughout the state and archers anxious to get back into the field are ready to go.

Last year 28 percent of the 13,951 archery permit holders took a deer.

As is usual in late summer and fall, the Game and Parks Commission has received several reports of people finding dead or dying deer, most of them victims of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) or blue tongue, and with thousands of archers heading into the field to hunt next week, reports are expected to increase.

Bruce Morrison, assistant administrator of the Commissions wildlife division, says the outward appearance of deer that have died of EHD or blue tongue is very similar to that of deer that died of chronic wasting disease (CWD), and chances are that it was EHD or blue tongue that killed the deer. The Commission is interested in keeping track of EHD or blue tongue deaths as well as those attributed to CWD. Morrison asks that people who find a dead deer report it to their nearest conservation officer or the nearest Game and Parks district office.

Deer deaths due to EHD and blue tongue are more common during dry years and 2003 has been very dry. “With the dry conditions weve had,” Morrison said, “we could very well have a pretty bad year.”

Because CWD has been found in Nebraskas panhandle, many hunters have asked where they can send samples from their deer to have it tested before they consume it. Morrison said the following veterinary laboratories will accept and test samples, but hunters must submit their own samples and must contact the lab for their procedure in submitting samples and must bear the cost of shipping and testing.

The labs that will do CWD testing are:

-- Veterinary Diagnostic Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Fair St. and East Campus Loop, Lincoln, NE, 68583-0907, (402) 472-1434, cost $25 per sample.

-– Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, 1174 Snowy Range Rd., Laramie, WY, 82070, (307 742-6638, $25 per sample.

-– Colorado State University Diagnostic Laboratory, 300 W. Drake Rd., Room E 100, Ft. Collins, CO, 80526, (970 491-1281, $25 per sample.