It is not uncommon big money to be won by deer hunters. In the past though to win you had to have taken a “trophy” buck as prizes were always given based on the Boone and Crockett point scoring system. Now for the first time you can win big money simply by killing a mature white-tailed buck.
Deer hunters across Louisiana can qualify for a $1,000 drawing by having the head of a mature white-tailed buck tested for a slow but always fatal illness called chronic wasting disease. Taxidermists in the state can do the same for a chance in a $500 drawing — with permission from the hunter who harvested the buck, according to a news release issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (DWF).
Chronic wasting disease is always fatal in deer, elk or moose, but it can take 16 months to four years for the first symptoms to show up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said scientists don’t know whether it can infect people, but the agency recommends against eating venison from infected animals.
The disease has not yet been found in Louisiana. But all three neighboring states — Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi — are among at least 26 where it has been found. As result the DWF wants to test deer taken statewide during Louisiana’s 2021-22 hunting seasons.
Heads — with or without antlers and skull cap, but with at least 5 inches of neck — can be brought from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to regional department offices in Hammond, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Minden, Monroe and Pineville.
Details about preparing samples for the current test are available on the DWF website at: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cwd-testing.
Details about the drawings are at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cwd-contest.
Both drawings will be March 18. The South Louisiana Branch of the National Deer Association is providing money for the gift cards.
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