The number of CWD-positive deer from Mississippi had nearly doubled with part of the 2019-2020 season remaining.
Mississippi had 19 confirmed cases since 2018 when the season opened last fall. That number had increased to 37 by early January, according to Russ Walsh, chief of staff of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ wildlife bureau chief of staff. Two more cases had been confirmed, and 16 others that have tested positive are awaiting confirmation by a more-thorough testing.
All new cases were reported from counties with previous confirmed CWD deer. Walsh said 15 of the new positives came from Benton County and three from Marshall County, which are both in the North Mississippi CWD Management Zone.
Benton and Marshall counties sit on the border of a heavily infected area of southwest Tennessee, where hundreds of confirmed positives have been found since an initial confirmation in 2018.
Walsh said his agency is hoping to conduct tests on 10,000 deer during the 2019-2020 season but said the MDWFP had only tested about a quarter of that number entering January. He was hoping that more hunters would bring deer to be sampled, especially in the North Mississippi CWD Zone counties.
The good news is that no further positive tests has been found in the South Delta CWD Zone, where Mississippi’s first case was confirmed two years ago. Despite thousands of deer tested in the region, only one other positive CWD test was confirmed: during the 2018-19 season.