VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) will hold a public meeting in Vicksburg to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The meeting will be held on Monday, August 29 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lovisa Auditorium on Hinds Community College, Vicksburg Campus. MDWFP biologists will present information during the meeting on CWD management and sampling efforts and on special opportunities for properties within three miles of a CWD-positive detection.    

CWD is an always fatal, contagious, neurological disease that affects deer species, elk, and moose. The disease causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death.

In Mississippi, wildlife officials have taken steps to help prevent the spread of CWD.

The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks recently passed a new regulation to remove and add some counties to CWD management zones in the state. Sharkey, Leflore, Tallahatchie and Pontotoc were removed from the zones, while Claiborne, Lafayette, Prentiss and Tishomingo were added.

The counties were added to the CWD management zones because positive cases were found within ten miles of them. The change went into effect on July 1.

According to MDWFP, there have been 127 confirmed CWD positive cases in Mississippi since February 2018, and there have been seven suspected positive cases.

The meeting comes before the start of the 2022 velvet buck season. The velvet buck season will be from September 16 to 18 on private lands only. Leaders with MDWFP said only legal bucks for the respective Deer Management Unit may be harvested.

MDWFP is relying on hunter-harvested deer to monitor CWD across Mississippi. All harvested bucks must be submitted for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sampling to a MDWPF CWD Drop-off freezer or to a MDWFP participating taxidermist within five days of harvest.