HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -Officials have identified nearly 30 new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease, but it has not seemed to have an impact on turnout and results. As gun deer hunting season nears its end for 2016, many deer processors saying they’ve seen higher numbers this year in spite of concerns.
Randy Radley has owned Griffith’s Custom Butchering for almost a year. But the Hot Springs staple has been in his family since 1993.
“Me and my wife took ownership this year; tried to carry on family tradition,” said Radley.
So far, he’s already processed up to 2,000 deer since the modern gun deer hunting season started.
“Our numbers are up 35 percent since last year.”
Since November 12th, there have been a little more than 100,000 deer harvested across Arkansas.
“In the beginning of the season the weather didn’t corporate like we wanted it to. It was still a little warm, but later in the season it got warm and I believe it really turned the season on,” said Radley.
As of last Tuesday, 28 new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been identified by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. They say many are from voluntary sampling stations set up around the state.
Radley says that although he does inform his customers about it, he hasn’t seen any cases at his Garland County business.
“It hasn’t been a problem for us here; I haven’t seen it like Game and Fish told me this summer, they were right we haven’t had any problems with it,” said Radley.
Although Radley says his business is quite successful outside of the modern gun deer hunting season, he’s already looking forward to next season.
“Hopefully we can see a rise to 50-percent, who knows what the future will bring.”
The modern deer gun hunting season ends December 4th but picks up again from December 26th through the 28th.