No Positive CWD Cases Found After Continued Testing

May 4, 2018 – Continuing sampling efforts conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes have turned up no positive results of the disease.

LDWF has sampled 239 deer from the three parishes, located in northeast Louisiana, with results received back on 188 of the specimens as of May 2 with no positive results detected. The results from the samples will be received within the next three weeks, while additional sampling continues inside the buffer zone area within these parishes.

The sampling measures are part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan. It was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.

LDWF’s target sample size is 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size will provide a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent. LDWF continues to work with private landowners to obtain consent for sampling efforts and would like to thank landowners who have been willing to assist and cooperate with LDWF’s sampling project.

Mississippi has also sampled in the area in its state and, with 275 results back, has not detected the disease outside the one case in Issaquena County.

In addition to the LDWF sampling, supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes has been suspended as part of the response plan.

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.

Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

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Essentials for Public Land Success

Having the right gear when hunting public land can be the difference in having a season of successful hunts or a season of short hunts because your feet are freezing and you’re tired of only seeing squirrels. Growing up, I lived on Turkey Creek which spoiled me to some of the best public duck hunting around. As a result, I was never too interested in going with my Dad and Grandpa to sit in a cold tree and freeze to death to probably see nothing. Finally, 8 years ago after a friend kept insisting that I go bowhunting with him, I reluctantly I went. Needless to say I can count on two hands how many duck hunts I have made since that first deer hunt.

A Little About Me

I was fortunate enough to have some early success and have been hooked ever since. I never thought anything could beat a group of green heads working into a cypress break. Boy was I wrong! Nothing beats the rush of drawing back on a whitetail buck and hearing the shwack of the arrow passing through.  Then the sound of him busting through that palmetto and crashing is enough to give me chills! A passion for bowhunting began to grow in my soul. Being alone in the woods just me, God, and His creation chasing after one of the most elusive big game animals on the North American continent. I even love the countless hours shooting in the heat of the summer getting prepared and the time spent with family and friends. I loved it all.

Gotta Start Somewhere

For the most part I had to start from scratch when it came to hunting whitetails. There where a lot of things I didn’t know about bowhunting public land. I learned a lot of them the hard way, by doing them myself and figuring out what worked and what didn’t. At first, I thought I didn’t need any fancy equipment, just my dad’s old Mathews Q2. His old heavy climber and my duck hunting camo would surely make me good to go too. That was enough to get me started and is what I was using when I killed my first ole’ slickhead. That being said you don’t need much to get started or even to put together a successful hunt or two. To be your most efficient year after year and able to walk long distances and sit longer hours, which you’ll find are the life blood of a successful hunt on public land, many of my tactics and equipment had to change.

Public vs. Private

Hunting public land is very different than hunting a lease or club. There is very limited ATV access. You can’t use permanent stands or cut shooting lanes. Not to mention the added hunting pressure which forces you to sometimes walk up to 3 miles or more just to get away from other hunters and previous hunting pressure. I’ve had several friends who are good bowhunters on private land come hunting on public with me and by the time we got to the stand they where panting in exhaustion and ringing wet with sweat because they had made one or both of these mistakes: they had on the wrong clothing (usually cotton) and they were packing a heavy stand and tons of gear. A lot of extra work and forethought goes into hunting public land. To me it’s well worth the reward when you finally connect with the buck you’ve been looking for.

The Evolution

In my early stages of bowhunting I didn’t feel like I needed special clothing just to hunt in. For warm weather just any old camo shirt and pants with some boots would do. For cold weather basically the same thing but just layer up as much as I needed to stay warm. When bowhunting on public land it is extremely important to be able to stay dry and comfortable while still being able to draw your bow. The more comfortable and the better prepared you are to battle the elements, the longer you will be able to sit in the stand. Thin, breathable,non cotton layers are key to this. Most people who are consistently successful at killing mature deer on public land have one thing in common: They put in extra time in the tree. You can’t kill them if you’re not there. You also can’t kill them if you are there but shivering profusely or have been sweating like a pig and stink to high heaven. A lot of you are probably like me and get to hunt mostly on weekends. Regardless of the forecast you have to be in the woods.

Increasing your odds is the name of the game. Pack the proper gear, light and easy to carry. Wear the right clothes to keep your body temperature regulated and sweat to a minimum. Soon you too will find yourself out of the stand and taking photos behind a big Louisiana public land buck, no matter the weather.


Chris’ Equipment List

Bow– Mathews Chill-R

Stand– Summit Viper Elite/  Millenium M100 with Wild Edge Stepp Ladder Stystem

CamoSitka Optifade Elevated 2

Essentials- Thermacell, Garmin Alpha 100 GPS, Face Paint (non oil based), SafetyHarness



Chris Williams- LABH Contributor (Winnsboro, LA)

LDWF Reminder to Not Disturb Fawns

From Press Release

Though they may appear to be vulnerable and in need of assistance, unattended white-tailed deer fawns encountered in the wild should not be disturbed, according to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) biologists. LDWF is reminding the public the best practice is to leave them alone and to remember it is against the law to capture young deer or any other wild animal.

Newborn fawns rely on their spotted coats and concealment during the first few weeks of life. Does will forage nearby and return periodically to nurse the young fawn. The lack of flight and hiding strategy phase of a newborn fawn often creates the illusion of abandonment. However, as fawns grow and develop, they will begin to forage for food alongside the mother.

Every year LDWF receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they consider to be an abandoned deer fawn. If caught transporting or possessing wild deer or other wild animals without a permit, individuals may be subject to citations and fines.

Quiet departure from the area is recommended if a fawn is encountered. This action will provide the young deer the best chance to survive in the wild and prevent a possible citation.

Louisiana’s deer herd has a wide range of breeding dates depending on the location within the state. Fawning typically occurs from April thru August, occurring earliest in southwest Louisiana followed by north central and northwest Louisiana. The latest fawning occurs along the Mississippi River parishes and parts of southeast Louisiana.

For more information, contact LDWF Deer Program Manager Johnathan Bordelon at 225-765-2344 or