The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is proposing a plan to require mandatory testing of hunter-harvested deer on certain days in three areas of the state. Impacted areas include the two CWD management zones, as well as certain counties in southwest and southeast Mississippi.
According to Russ Walsh, chief of the agency’s wildlife bureau, the proposed plan includes:
- In the Issaquena and North Mississippi CWD Management zones, hunters would be required to submit samples of harvested deer on Nov. 21-22.
- Hunters in Adams, Amite, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson counties would be required to submit samples on Jan. 2-3.
- Hunters in Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Stone and Wayne counties would be required to submit samples on Jan. 16-17.
To accommodate the expected increase in submitted samples, Walsh said the agency would create more submission stations in all areas on the proposed dates in addition to the sampling stations created last year.
Walsh said the mandatory submission plan is needed because voluntary sampling simply didn’t provide enough samples to fulfill the agency’s needs for thorough study. He said the process is streamlined and should not present a burden to hunters.