The deer hunting season has been underway for bowhunters and things kick off tomorrow for gun hunters. Hunters have been busy, chomping at the bit to get out there are hunt, but mule deer hunters taking an animal inside the West Texas Containment Zone during the mule deer general season, November 23 through December 9, are required to submit their harvest (unfrozen head) for CWD sampling at mandatory CWD check stations within 24 hours of harvest.
“We recommend hunters in the Containment Zone and High Risk Zone quarter deer in the field and leave all but the quarters, backstraps and head at the site of harvest if it is not possible to bury the inedible carcass parts at least 6 feet deep on the ranch or take them to a landfill,” said Shawn Gray, mule deer program leader for TPWD.
Hunters that harvest deer in the Containment Zone during the archery-only season or outside the general season under the authority of MLDP (Managed Lands Deer Permits) will need to call TPWD at (512) 221-8491 the day the deer is harvested to make arrangements to have the deer sampled for CWD.
Mandatory check stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 23 – Dec. 10. Stations will be located in Cornudas at May’s Café (on US 62-180) and in Van Horn at Van Horn Convention Center (1801 West Broadway).
In addition to protocols within the Containment Zone, TPWD has created a High Risk Zone for voluntary CWD sampling during the hunting season. Biologists have been collecting voluntary mule deer harvest data in the region since 1980 and this year CWD sampling will be offered in addition to age and weight measurements.
Voluntary check stations will be set up at the following locations during the first three weekends of the general season, Saturday through Monday (Nov. 24–26, Dec. 1–3 and Dec. 8–10), from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday:
- Midland at Naturally Fresh (Deer Processor) (1501 Elwyn)
- Bakersfield at Chevron Station (south of I10; Exit 294)
- Sanderson at Slim’s Auto Repair (823 West Oak; Intersection of US 90 and 285)
- Alpine at Hip-O Taxidermy (east side of town on US 90, across from Dairy Queen)
TPWD stated, “All deer brought to the check stations this season will be aged as part of our CWD surveillance,” said Gray. “We also intend to collect other biological information such as antler measurements and field dressed weights as time allows.” Sounds like a good opportunity for hunters to get some information about their kill as well as keep up with CWD in West Texas.
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