The Harnett Area Deer Donation Site, hosted by South Wake Conservationists, not only stands ready to serve our communities by accepting legally-harvested deer for donation to North Carolina Hunters for the Hungry, it now serves as an official North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission CWD Testing Drop-Off Site.
Hunters from South Wake, Harnett, and surrounding counties are encouraged to participate. It’s free, open 7 days a week, and easy to do. Questions? Give us a call: (919) 250-8441
Here’s why we are participating in this voluntary surveillance program:
- Within the last few months, a deer harvested just over 30 miles from the North Carolina border tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). It’s the closest case to North Carolina reported to date
- CWD is caused by abnormal proteins, called prions, that slowly spread through a deer’s nervous system, eventually causing spongy holes in the brain that lead to death. The disease is spread between deer through direct contact and environmental contamination from infected saliva, urine and feces of live deer or carcasses and body parts.
- There is no vaccine, treatment or cure. Deer do not recover from CWD and, given enough time, the disease is always fatal.
- There is no reliable USDA-approved live test for CWD, so effective surveillance methods require the testing of dead deer, primarily hunter harvests
- Testing is important because it’s hard to tell if a deer has CWD. Signs of illness aren’t visible for at least 16 months after infection. The slow incubation period and the ease of transmission is why wildlife biologists say being proactive and following current regulations is imperative.
- To date, CWD prions have not been documented to cause sickness in humans, but closely related prion diseases, like mad cow disease, have made the jump. The CDC does not recommend the consumption of CWD-infected meat.
The Wildlife Commission is making it easier than ever for hunters to help surveillance efforts by setting up more check stations around the state and installing drop-off stations like the one SWC hosts in Harnett County, where hunters can voluntarily submit their deer heads for testing. The agency’s CWD webpage, ncwildlife.org/CWD, features an interactive map of the drop-off station locations and allows hunters to view their deer’s test results.
Since 1945, North Carolina Wildlife Federation has worked for all wildlife and habitat bringing together citizens, outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and anglers, government and industry to protect North Carolina’s natural resources. South Wake Conservationists are proud to support this mission.