BEEBE, Ark. (KTHV) - Deer hunting season is in full swing and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is making sure they keep a close eye on chronic wasting disease (CWD).
The Monday after opening weekend of deer season is pretty busty for Kerry Tabor, he is one of 40 taxidermists in the state of Arkansas that volunteered to get trained to test for chronic wasting disease.
“We're getting the sample bags here ready, they want us to have them as clean as possible to take these specimens,” Tabor said.
Trey Reid with Arkansas Game and Fish said CWD was discovered in Arkansas in February 2016.
“We have eleven counties in the CWD manage zone but only seven counties where the disease has been detected in an animal, those other four counties are only because of proximity to the hot counties,” Reid said.
Reid said Game and Fish wants to learn more about the disease and that's where taxidermists like Tabor come in.
“Being that I am a taxidermist I want to make sure that the wildlife is as safe as possible,” Tabor said.
Tabor first he takes the lymph nodes out of the skull then he puts them in a small plastic bag, then puts the bag in the freezer until AGFC picks it up.
“They're barcoded to the hunter's name so once they're sent off to the lab AGFC has chosen, the hunter had the ability to go online and check their results,” Tabor said.
“By these taxidermist pulling samples for us we can continue to build that database and add to our knowledge and understanding of where the disease is and how it might spread across the landscape in Arkansas,” Reid said.
Click here for a link to the taxidermist in Arkansas that will test for CWD.