The biggest part of the deer hunting season is about to begin this weekend with the opening of the West River deer season on Saturday.

Following the announcement of the chronic wasting disease being found in Jackson County, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks is asking for help from hunters by providing samples.

“With a majority of the deer harvest occurring during the firearm seasons, hunters play a critical role in determining the distribution of CWD across South Dakota,” said GFP wildlife program administrator Chad Switzer. “When we developed the CWD action plan, we identified high priority surveillance areas to focus effort and resources where wildlife managers are working to determine if CWD is present. Findings from these sampling efforts will help us implement regulations for transportation and carcass disposal, which are critical to reducing the spread of CWD. There are numerous sample collection stations within and around the high priority surveillance areas, and sampling kits are available at GFP offices. Also, a hunter can contact any GFP office and make arrangements to have a sample removed from a harvested deer.”

Visit the GFP website for more info on CWD.