FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Deer season begins Saturday (Sept. 28) for archers in portions of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.
The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission will allow archery hunting in Zone 1 and Zone 1A from Sept. 28 through Feb. 29, 2020.
Zone 1 and Zone 1A include portions of Benton, Crawford, Madison, and Washington counties.
Parts of Zone 1 also lay in Tier 1 of the agency's Chronic Wasting Disease management zone, which places certain restrictions on hunters, including:
- Deer and elk taken in Tier 1 of the CWD management zone may not leave the boundary of Tier 1.
- Deer and elk taken in Tier 2 of the CWD management zone may go to Tier 1, but may not leave the outer boundary of Tier 2.
CWD was first discovered in Arkansas in February 2016.
Game & Fish officials say later testing determined that CWD was likely in the state for decades before being detected.
The AGFC has sampled and screened over 10,000 deer and elk from around the state. The AGFC has a 16-county management zone for the disease, but a deer recently tested positive for the disease in Scott County, outside of the zone.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control are warning hunters about tuberculosis.
Officials with the CDC issued the warning after learning that a man likely contracted tuberculosis after dressing a deer.
In May of 2017, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services learned of a case of pulmonary tuberculosis caused by the Mycobacterium bovis in a 77-year-old man.
Officials learned that although the patient wasn’t around anyone with tuberculosis, he had regularly hunted and field-dressed deer. Investigators learned that free-ranging deer in the area were often infected with M. bovis.
As a result, researchers have found a few other cases where an animal infected with tuberculosis actually spread the disease to humans. However, they say it is understudied.
Officials say the bacteria can be inhaled while the deer is field-dressed.
“To prevent exposure to M. bovis and other diseases, hunters are encouraged to use personal protective equipment while field-dressing deer,” the CDC says.