ARTICLE

Iowa asks hunters to donate deer heads

A group of bucks pause in the back yard of a northeast Cedar Rapids home. (Photo by Dave Hanzelka/Cedar Rapids)
A group of bucks pause in the back yard of a northeast Cedar Rapids home. (Photo by Dave Hanzelka/Cedar Rapids)

Iowa wants hunters to donate deer heads during the upcoming shotgun seasons to test for chronic wasting disease.

Since 2003, the Department of Natural Resources has submitted tissue samples for the neurological disease that can be fatal to deer. Officials say no wild or captive animal has ever been diagnosed with it in Iowa.

State deer biologist Tom Litchfield says the program is voluntary, and they want to collect deer heads from all 99 counties. The department is especially interested in seven counties along the Mississippi River from Allamakee County to Scott County and in Appanoose and Taylor counties in the south. Chronic wasting disease has been detected in Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

Iowa's shotgun seasons run from Dec. 4 to 8 and from Dec. 11 to 19.