By MIKE CORN
Test results from samples taken to measure chronic wasting disease in deer are trickling in to Shane Hesting at an agonizingly slow pace, but there's little anyone can do about it.
Test kits have been hard to obtain, and that has slowed down the testing by Kansas State University.
Still, with more than a thousand samples remaining, Hesting and hunters who are waiting for results before digging in to the venison stored in their freezers, its frustrating.
So far, samples from only five deer have tested positive for CWD, the always-fatal brain-wasting disease similar to mad cow.
The positive samples this year hail from Wallace, Decatur and Rawlins counties, as well as two from the New Almelo area in Norton County.
Hunters dislike giving out the exact location where samples were collected, protecting ideal hunting spots.
"We're trying not to tell exactly where they're coming from," said Hesting, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism's wildlife disease coordinator. "But CWD doesn't affect antlers."
Of the two positive samples hailing from the New Almelo area, one was a buck fawn, and the other was only about 21βΡ2 years old.
For Hesting, it's the slow pace for results trickling in that's frustrating.
"Last year, it was a lot faster," he said. "I think we were pretty well done by now."
Out of 2,422 samples collected, only 1,317 have been tested, he said. That leaves slightly more than 1,100 left to do.
Sampling has been delayed by the lack of a piece of a testing kit used to perform the analysis.
"It's a part down the line that's holding this up," Hesting said.