Deer checkpoints will watch for fatal disease

State wildlife biologists will man check stations across Oregon this weekend to take samples of hunter-killed buck deer to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The fatal disease found in wild and captive deer and elk throughout the West has not been detected so far in Oregon, but wildlife biologists are sampling hunter-killed deer and elk again here this year as part of continued monitoring.

In southwest Oregon, biologists will be taking small samples of brain tissue and lymph nodes from deer this weekend at several highway junctions, including Lemolo Lake Road at Hwy. 138; Steamboat Creek Road at Hwy. 138; Little River Road at the Peel Store in Douglas County; and Bear Market at the intersection of South Umpqua Road and Hwy. 227.

Biologists will also man those stations Oct. 20-21, the opening weekend of the general Roosevelt bull elk season in western Oregon.

Also, Dave Heffner, a Boone & Crockett Club official antler scorer, will be on hand Sept. 29-30 at Bear Market to measure antlers at no charge.

Successful hunters who don't pass a check station can get their animals sampled at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offices in White City and Gold Beach.

CWD has been detected in deer, elk or moose in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Illinois, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and West Virginia, as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The ODFW estimates about 600-800 hunters travel annually to CWD-infected states to hunt big-game species.

Hunters can bring animals from those states only under the following conditions: Only meat cut and wrapped commercially or privately; boned-out meat; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; hides and capes without the head attached; skull plates with attached antlers, all cleaned of all meat and brain tissue (velvet antlers are allowed); antlers; upper canine teeth; and finished taxidermy mounts.

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