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GFP News: Chronic Wasting Disease| Deer Damage Assistance

February 15, 2019

GFP to Host Open Houses on Chronic Wasting Disease

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks will host public open houses to provide information and awareness on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer and elk herds within the state.

“The department is developing a draft action plan outlining the state’s approach to slowing the spread of this wildlife disease,” stated Chad Switzer, wildlife program administrator. “Not only do we want hunters to attend these events, we encourage game processors, taxidermists, landowners, captive deer and elk operators, conservation leaders and other community members to be part of the discussion. Each event will focus on the biology and history of CWD and preventive measures to reduce the spread. We will also be there to talk about surveillance and outreach strategies as well as answer questions."

In South Dakota, CWD currently is known to exist in Custer, Fall River, Lawrence and Pennington counties. 

About Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD): CWD is a fatal brain disease found in deer and elk caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. In South Dakota, CWD was discovered in seven captive elk facilities during the winter of 1997-98 and in wild populations in 2001 when a positive white-tailed deer in Fall River County was detected during the hunting season. New research findings suggest a negative impact to population growth rates of deer and elk in neighboring western states.

Contact Chad Switzer at 605.773.4193 or chad.switzer@state.sd.us for more details.

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GFP Offers Assistance to Landowners Experiencing Deer Damage

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) wants landowners to know that programs and services are available to reduce damage to operations due to large deer herds moving into farmyards seeking protection from severe winter weather. 

“Currently, the department is working on approximately 120 requests for assistance with deer damage, statewide,” said Keith Fisk, wildlife damage program administrator. “Severe winter weather has forced deer to move many miles and these animals are affecting landowner’s and producer’s operations. Because landowners are imperative for successful wildlife management, our local wildlife damage staff work cooperatively with them to determine the best approach to address these problems.”

GFP can provide protective panels or fencing to keep deer from accessing stored-feed supplies as well as implement hazing techniques, depredation pool hunts, and supplemental feeding to keep deer away from farmyards and livestock operations. 

“Early detection of damage also helps other wildlife damage abatement techniques be successful. Once a large number of deer start coming into a farmyard for feed, it can be difficult to stop the damage,” said Fisk.

If a landowner is experiencing deer damage to stored-feed supplies intended for livestock, they should contact their local GFP office.

Aberdeen: 605-626-2391            Chamberlain: 605-734-4530      

Fort Pierre: 605-223-7700          Huron: 605-353-7145                    

Mobridge: 605-845-7814            Rapid City: 605-394-2391

Sioux Falls: 605-362-2700          Watertown: 605-882-5200          

Webster: 605-345-3381

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