Mississippi wildlife officials have now tested 128 deer — two sets of 64 each — since the state’s first case of the deadly deer disease was confirmed in a buck in Issaquena County on Feb. 9.

All have tested negative, including many that were road kills and others that were reported by the public as showing signs of illness.

Wildlife bureau executive director Russ Walsh, of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, said Tuesday that tests on the second 64 deer taken were returned negative on Friday (March 9). 

By coincidence, Walsh said, that is the exact number of deer tested two weeks ago from the immediate 5-mile containment zone, also all negative.

“MDWFP has collected numerous samples from roadkill and reported sick deer since being notified of a CWD-positive deer on February 9,” Walsh wrote in an email to Mississippi Sportsman on Tuesday. “On March 9, an additional 64 test results — 24 from the six counties in the 25-mile buffer zone — were received with all deer being “not detected for CWD.” 

The agency will continue to collect and monitor deer.

At 6:30 Monday night (March 19), MDWFP and other state agencies will hold a second public meeting, this one much closer to the containment zone, at the Vicksburg Convention Center, to discuss CWD.