TWRA extends special hunting season

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - In response to Chronic Wasting Disease being confirmed in Tennessee, TWRA has created a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone for Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy counties.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a contagious and a fatal neurological disorder that affects members of the deer family known scientifically as cervids. Import restrictions have been designed to protect these native herds.

Here are the new seasons, laws, rules, and regulations for the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone
• In the CWD Zone (Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy Counties) deer season has been extended to January 31st for all hunters
• No deer may be transported out of the CWD Zone without being processed.
• Within the CWD Zone the placement of grain, salt products, minerals and other food sources is prohibited.
• All weekends in the extended season there is mandatory CWD sampling for all harvested deer.
• During the week, we strongly encourage hunters to use the freezer drop offs or processors so that we can collect samples for testing
• Firearms, muzzleloader and archery equipment are allowed during the extended season.

The disease is transmitted through animal-to-animal contact, animal contact with a contaminated environment, and with contaminated feed or water sources.

Chronic Wasting Disease is considered 100 percent fatal once contracted, it is not known to harm humans or livestock.

There is no scientific evidence that Chronic Wasting Disease can be naturally transmitted to humans.

TWRA and health officials advise that hunters take the following common sense precautions when handling and processing deer or elk in areas known to have Chronic Wasting Disease.
- Avoid sick animals. Do not shoot, handle, or consume any animal that appears sick; contact your local wildlife agency personnel.
- Have your animal processed in the area in which it was harvested so high-risk parts can be disposed of properly.
- Wear rubber/latex gloves when field dressing carcasses.
- Minimize handling the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of any deer or elk. Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. - - Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.
- Thoroughly wash hands, knives and other tools used to field dress the animal. Disinfect tools by soaking them in a solution of 50 percent unscented household bleach and 50 percent water for an hour. Allow them to air dry.
- While transporting, store all portions of the animal in a container such as a cooler, bin, or bag that will not leak fluids into the environment.
- In the CWD Zone, have your animal tested and do not consume animals that test positive for CWD.