First Panhandle White Tail Tests Positive for Chronic Waste Disease

Picture are from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Jeff Hart
Staff Writer

A whitetail deer killed on the road between Dalhart and Hartley on US Highway 87 tested positive for chronic wasting disease. Hutchinson County Game Warden Lance Lindley said “The Texas Park and Wildlife cuts the head off of roadkill and tests the spine for the disease. This is the first case in the Texas Panhandle for whitetail deer. We have seen the disease in mule deer for about 5 years. The first case for mule deer was about 5 years ago in El Paso. We think the disease came over from New Mexico and is invading the west side of Texas.”
The deer was found inside the CWS Containment area but it was close to the border. The council will be meeting to determine if the containment area needs to be expanded. Currently, deer shot in the containment zone which is anything west of highway 287, must be taken to Vega or Dalhart to a check station to be checked for the disease.
Dr. Bob Dittmar, State Wildlife Veterinarian said “We do not believe there's a need to expand the Surveillance Zone at this time” but TPWD staff will present a proposal detailing a expansion of the Containment Zone during the TPW Commissions on January 24 at a public hearing. (Texas Parks and Wildlife page)
The expansion should not result in any new requirements for hunters or land owners unless they move live deer. The disease showed up in the Panhandle about 2 years ago when a mule deer buck tested positive during a routine CWD surveillance. ...

For more of this story, get this weekend's newspaper (Jan. 13-14)