Winners of LDWF chronic wasting disease sampling contest

Evelyn Lindow of Alto was the winning hunter in LDWF's CWD sampling contest. (Photo courtesy LDWF)
Evelyn Lindow of Alto was the winning hunter in LDWF’s CWD sampling contest. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

Evelyn Lindow, of Alto, and Frank Gates, of Saline, are the winners of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling contest held during the 2021-22 hunting season.

Lindow, who harvested an 8-point buck in Richland Parish, won a $1,000 gift card for submitting her sample. Gates, a taxidermist in Saline, was awarded a $500 gift card for submitting the winning sample in the taxidermist category. The prizes in the drawing were made possible by the South Louisiana Branch of the National Deer Association.

Alto is in Richland Parish and Saline is in Bienville Parish.

Hunters and taxidermists who submitted samples were entered into a drawing for the gift cards. All samples were tested for CWD, assisting LDWF with its surveillance monitoring for the disease, which is 100-percent fatal in deer.

Lindow, a school teacher, harvested the buck on family property in Richland Parish. The avid deer hunter said she wanted to assist LDWF with surveillance of the disease.

Gates was one of the first taxidermists to assist LDWF with CWD sampling and has become a valued partner and advocate with the department as it continues to monitor for the disease. His contributions have helped LDWF meet its sample quotas in Winn and Natchitoches parishes.

Frank Gates of Saline was the winning taxidermist in LDWF's CWD sampling contest. (Photo courtesy LDWF)
Frank Gates of Saline was the winning taxidermist in LDWF’s CWD sampling contest. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

The expertise and attention to detail possessed by all participating taxidermists has resulted in high quality samples that provide viable test results, LDWF Deer Program Manager Johnathan Bordelon said.

“We thank all participating hunters and taxidermists who assisted us,’’ said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “And special thanks to the South Louisiana Branch of the National Deer Association for the gift cards. They have been a long-term partner in promoting wildlife conservation, research and outreach. Their advocacy made this contest a success.’’

CWD is a fatal neurologic disease. The first positive CWD sample in Louisiana was detected earlier this year in Tensas Parish. No new findings have been detected as LDWF continues its surveillance effort.

The disease is spread by contact with infected saliva, blood, urine, feces, food, water, and soil. It can be transmitted from live animals or carcasses, and creates holes in the brain tissue of infected animals. Infection with CWD can occur in deer of any sex and age, but higher infection rates are typically noted in mature bucks.

Symptoms can show 16 months or more after infection. Those symptoms include weight loss, excessive salivation, teeth grinding, head tremors, difficulty swallowing, excessive urination and thirst, incoordination, splay leg stance, lowered head and ears, fixed stare, fainting and lack of awareness.

For more information on CWD, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cwd.

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