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Hunter’s guide to CWD in Warren County



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As of July 2020, Mississippi has 54 confirmed CWD-positive white-tailed deer across six counties. Efforts to monitor for and mitigate spread of the disease will certainly continue. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is dedicated to leading the charge to manage CWD using the best science available, and with continued support of hunters, landowners, and conservation partners.

MDWFP asks hunters to aid in this effort by submitting deer for testing during the white-tailed deer hunting season. Further, hunters and landowners can help monitor for CWD by actively looking for and reporting potential diseased or sick deer.

MDWFP will establish collection sites across the state for the general public to deposit deer heads for testing. Freezers will be at each site for depositing deer heads. Hunters should preserve the head with at least 6 inches of neck attached and antlers may be removed before depositing head.

There are two freezer locations in Warren County: 11641 Hwy 465 and 760 Hwy 61 North.  Click here to see the full list of collection sites.


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is caused by a contagious, fatal prion, or abnormal protein, that affects cervids such as white-tailed deer, elk, and mule deer. Prions associated with the disease are found throughout the body of infected animals, but are found in higher concentrations in the eyes, lymph nodes, and nervous tissues.

For some animals, it may be a year or more before symptoms develop, which can include drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness, and other neurologic symptoms.

Infected animals shed prions through saliva, feces, blood, and urine. Other animals can become infected through direct contact with an infected animal and through indirect contact from an infected environment. Once the disease occurs in an area, evidence demonstrates eradication is unlikely.

If you observe a deer you suspect may be diseased or sick, report it to MDWFP at 1-800-BE-SMART or


North MS Management Zone:

· Includes Alcorn, Benton, Desoto, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Pontotoc, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, and Union counties.

Issaquena Management Zone:

· All portions of Warren County

· All portions of Issaquena and Sharkey counties defined as:

o All areas east of the Mississippi River

o All areas south of Highways 14 and 16

o Areas west of the Yazoo River

(credit: MWF&P)


1) Carcasses may not be transported outside of any CWD Management Zone. Research has shown that decomposed carcasses of infected animals can also contribute to transmission when prions bind to soil and plant material. Thus, movement of carcasses may introduce CWD into previously uninfected areas. Any harvested deer may be taken directly to a taxidermist or meat processor within the CWD Management Zone. Only the below products may leave the a zone:

  • Cut/wrapped meat (commercially or privately)
  • Deboned meat, or bone-in quarters with no part of the spinal column or head attached
  • Hides with no head attached
  • Finished taxidermy
  • Antlers with no tissue attached
  • Cleaned skull plates (no brain tissue)
  • Cleaned skulls (no lymphoid or brain tissue)

Hunters may only transport a deer head outside of a MDWFP-defined CWD Management Zone to a permitted taxidermist participating in the CWD collection program. A CWD sample number must be obtained from the participating taxidermist prior to transporting the deer head outside of the MDWFP-defined CWD Management Zone. This sample number must accompany the deer head while in transport and be available for inspection by Law Enforcement upon request. The deer head must be delivered to the participating taxidermist within 5 days of receiving the sample number. This does not apply to deer, elk, or other cervids harvested outside of Mississippi.

2) Supplemental feeding is banned in all CWD Management Zones (salt licks, mineral licks, and feeders). Direct contact with prions is the most effective means of transmitting CWD. Research indicates saliva may have the highest concentration of prions. Thus, to minimize concentration of deer and potential spread of CWD, supplemental feeding is banned within all CWD Management Zones.

Hemorrhagic Disease (HD) outbreak

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has received an increasing number of sick and/or deceased deer reports within the past weeks.  Wildlife Biologists suspect Mississippi may be experiencing an outbreak of Hemorrhagic Disease (HD), commonly called blue-tongue.

According to Dr. Bronson Strickland, Mississippi State University Extension Wildlife Specialist, “HD is caused by a virus and is transmitted deer to deer by midges of the genus Culicoides.  These tiny, biting insects are commonly referred to as gnats. The virus causes internal hemorrhaging and sometimes rapid death occurs.  The virus may cause ulcers which can disrupt digestion.  While deer are suffering from the HD virus they will get a fever and seek water to cool their body temperature.  Deer that succumb to the virus are commonly found near water for this reason.  Far more often, deer become infected but are able to cope with the virus and will have no long-term damage, other than tell-tale indicators they had the virus.  This is often seen with deer harvested in the fall and their hooves appear to have sloughed off. The fever a deer experiences while fighting the virus interrupts hoof growth, but the hoof will grow back.”

“MDWFP tracks HD outbreaks via hunter reports and the occurrence of sloughing hooves from deer harvested each season”, said MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator William T. McKinley.  “The HD virus is more common in some years and typically follows a 3 to 5 year cycle. Mississippi has had 4 consecutive years with low HD virus activity.  In the Southeastern US, HD outbreaks usually result in less than 10% mortality.  In other regions of the US, outbreaks can be much more severe causing far greater mortality.”

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