CEDAR RAPIDS — Deer hunters are being encouraged to help track chronic wasting disease by allowing the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to collect tissues samples from animals they shoot, especially in Northeast Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’s wildlife staff has a goal of collecting 5,465 samples. So far, the department’s effort is running ahead of the pace in previous years, according to Terry Haindfield, DNR wildlife biologist who is leading the CWD collection effort
“We’ve had really good cooperation from our hunters, so our focus now is collecting samples from some pretty specific areas within our target counties in order to reach our quotas,” he said.
All counties have a quota of at least 15 samples, with higher quotas in portions of Northeast and Eastern Iowa near Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois; in counties bordering the Missouri River west of Interstate 29; and south-central Iowa near Missouri — areas where CWD has been detected.
“We’ve had really good cooperation from our hunters, so our focus now is collecting samples from some pretty specific areas within our target counties in order to reach our quotas,” Haindfield said.
In Northeast Iowa, the DNR is looking for samples from deer harvested from the southeast quarter of Allamakee County, the northwest quarter of Clayton County, the northwest quarter of Winneshiek County and the northeast quarter of Howard County.
“Hunters willing to provide a sample should call their local wildlife biologist to see if the county or area where the deer was taken has filled its quota or is still in need of a sample,” he said.
Hunters from the targeted areas needing additional help may contact Haindfield at (563) 380-3422 and he will connect them with local field staff.