The Manitoba government is taking steps to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease – a contagious, incurable and fatal disease that affects members of the deer family.
In a Thursday news release, the province announced it is establishing a winter mule deer hunting season from Dec. 19, 2022, to Feb. 5, 2023, in the same game hunting areas (GHA) as the fall season. These areas will include GHAs 5, 6, 6A, 11, 12, 13, 13A, 18, 18A, 18B, 18C, 22, 23, 23A, 27, 28, 29, 29A, 30, 31, 31A, 32, 33, 35, and 35A.
Manitobans can purchase up to three mule deer licences per year. Any unused mule deer licences that were purchased for the fall hunting season can be used during the winter hunting season.
The province notes that the mandatory sample submission area is still in effect, and that hunters will be notified immediately if any animals test positive for chronic wasting disease.
Chronic wasting disease was first found in Manitoba in November 2021. Seven cases of the disease have been detected near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border in the last year. All these cases were in mule deer.
Hunters who are active in the areas where the disease is a concern are asked to practice safe carcass handling and refrain from consuming any animal that tested positive for chronic wasting disease. Though the disease is not known as a human health risk, meat from an animal infected with chronic wasting disease is not recommended for consumption.
Hunters with questions or concerns can contact 1-204-638-4570 or CWD@gov.mb.ca.
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