Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in whitetails is a complex issue surrounded by confusion, but QDMA has a simple message for deer hunters: We can all take steps right now to fight this threat to the future of deer hunting. QDMA recently launched a campaign and a hashtag, #FightCWD, to transmit science-based action items to the deer hunting community.
“There are 3,137 counties in the United States that are home to native deer or elk species susceptible to CWD, and 92 percent of them are CWD-free,” said QDMA Communications Director Lindsay Thomas Jr. “The hunters in those counties can begin working today to keep those areas disease-free, and the hunters in affected counties can help slow the spread while assisting scientists in monitoring and researching the disease.”
Though CWD is to be taken seriously, the situation is not hopeless. Each year scientists learn more about this fatal disease, and this knowledge will ultimately help find solutions that are not yet apparent. To buy time for this research to work, the hunting community must slow or stop the spread of the disease to new areas. QDMA’s #FightCWD campaign is intended to arm hunters with the knowledge they need to participate in the effort.
QDMA’s #FightCWD campaign includes:
- An article outlining numerous specific steps that hunters inside and outside of CWD Management Zones can take to join the fight. The article was printed in the current issue of QDMA’s membership journal, Quality Whitetails, and is also available free online.
- An ongoing social media campaign that includes daily messages and infographics about preventive measures and precautions hunters can take to help avoid spreading CWD to new areas. Search #FightCWD to find these on QDMA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. An earlier QDMA campaign aimed at sharing basic facts, #KnowCWD, is also still available and active.
- A new, comprehensive CWD page on QDMA’s website that compiles facts, article links, videos, QDMA’s recommendations, QDMA’s policy statements and advocacy work, and links to other reliable sources of updated CWD information.
- Podcast appearances by QDMA staff members on various outlets where CWD was the topic of discussion, in which QDMA staff share CWD facts, precautions and preventive measures. Links to these are available at QDMA’s media page.
- Information and tips in QDMA’s weekly e-newsletter that goes to more than 140,000 deer hunters. The e-newsletter is free, and hunters can sign up to receive it at this link.
- Ongoing advocacy work in the policy arena as well as speaking appearances by QDMA staff at conferences and other meetings focused on deer hunters. These actions are also outlined at QDMA’s CWD page.
The #FightCWD campaign is only part of QDMA’s broader efforts to address the disease.
“CWD is one of the biggest threats facing the future of deer hunting, and QDMA is contributing $1 million to research, on-the-ground management, and technical assistance for white-tailed deer over the next five years,” said Kip Adams, QDMA Director of Conservation. “CWD will receive the bulk of the research funding and focus.”