Turn in Deer Heads
Saskatchewan Environment is asking hunters to turn in deer heads. The samples will be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease. Saskatchewan Environment is especially interested in samples from the province's western areas where all cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in wild deer have been found.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal disease affecting the brains of deer and elk. Currently, the only way to test for the disease in the wild is to examine the brains of animals hunters have harvested.
So far this year hunters have turned in close to 1200 deer heads and 44 elk heads for testing. While this is well above the number submitted by last year at this time, Saskatchewan Environment would still like to get as many head samples as possible. Hunting seasons will wrap up between now and the end of December.
Hunters may drop frozen deer or elk heads off at their local Saskatchewan Environment office. Hunters are requested to provide complete information including their name and address, date and location the animal was taken. They are also asked to remove the antlers to make it easier to handle and ship the samples. Animal hides are not accepted at Saskatchewan Environment offices, but may be dropped off at local Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation hide depots.
This fall, four new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been found in the wild.
Since the fall of 2000, 16 cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been discovered in wild deer in Saskatchewan.
Current science indicates that Chronic Wasting Disease poses no known risk to humans or domestic livestock.