Hunters are being asked to assist the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s surveillance efforts for chronic wasting disease this hunting season by submitting the heads of their deer or elk for testing.
Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease that is fatal to deer and elk. Although the disease has not yet been found in Arizona, it has been detected in three bordering states — Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.
Hunters can bring the head of their recently harvested deer or elk to any department office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Place the head in a plastic garbage bag for delivery, and keep it cool and out of the sun, if possible.
You will be notified of the test results by postcard within six to eight weeks. There is no charge to you for the testing and notification.
Although there is no scientific evidence to show that the disease affects humans, hunters are advised to avoid harvesting any animal that appears sick, and avoid consuming or handling any brain or spinal tissue.
Hunters are also asked to be observant in the field. If you see a deer or elk displaying symptoms of chronic wasting disease, such as low weight, stumbling gait, drooping ears, rough hair condition, visible salivation, excessive thirst, or loss of fear of humans, please contact the department at (800) 352-0700.
In order to minimize the chance of the disease entering Arizona through the transport of infected animal tissues, hunters are also asked to take precautions when bringing harvested deer or elk into Arizona from another state. For a list of guidelines, or to learn more about the disease, visit
ATTENTION QUAIL HUNTERS
During the opening weekend of quail season this Friday through Monday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking quail hunters to donate a single wing from each Gambel’s quail harvested during the first three days of quail season so biologists can assess the impacts of this year’s climate pattern on Gambel’s quail reproduction in the state.
Pick up wing envelopes at any of the department’s offices.
While in the field, remove the right wing only from each harvested Gambel’s quail and place it in the manila wing envelope. Wings from all birds harvested on the same day should be stored in a single envelope.
When you return from your hunt, drop off wing envelopes during regular business hours at one of the department’s seven offices by Nov. 1. If you have any questions, call (602) 789-3352.
FISHING HOT SPOT
Lake Pleasant: Bass action has been hot, but sometimes boat traffic on the weekend impacts the bite. Anglers fishing Humbug Creek reported a great bite on small white bass but were also catching some nice 2-pounders when they could get a KastMaster or other offering past the small fish on top. The topwater bite is on for largemouth bass on the points, islands and reefs in the main lake.
Topwater stickbaits are the ticket, although soft jerkbaits and Texas-rigged lizards catch a fair share of bass as well. There are lots of pound-plus, football-shaped bass. As the morning progresses, the bite gets better and the fish get bigger.