The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be collecting deer biological data on the opening day of the rifle season, Nov. 17 at various locations across East Tennessee. Data to be collected will include deer age estimates, antler measurements, and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance samples.
With the addition of Internet checking in 2009 and the TWRA On the Go mobile application, less than half of harvested deer are brought to a checking station and the trend is continuing as technology advances. The newer methods for big game checking have made the process easier for hunters but more difficult for TWRA to collect data that greatly aids in managing the state’s deer population.
As concerns over the potential spread of CWD into Tennessee increase, TWRA is also removing lymph nodes from harvested deer for testing. The fatal disease has been documented in 25 states and three Canadian provinces and is inching its way closer to Tennessee every year. In fact, the bordering states of Mississippi, Arkansas and Virginia have all confirmed cases of CWD in their deer populations. Because of the serious threat of unintentionally introducing CWD into Tennessee, TWRA has alsoamended a rule regarding importation restrictions on deer, elk, moose, and caribou carcasses harvested anywhere outside of the state. More information on the restrictions can be found at: https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/cwd.html#deer
TWRA encourages hunters that harvest a deer on the opening day of rifle season to bring it by one of the listed checking stations or locations. TWRA agents and/or students from the University of Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial University will be present at the following locations on Nov. 17:
For additional information, contact Wildlife Biologist Sterling Daniels by phone at 423-522-2445 or email at Sterling.Daniels@tn.gov.