Visitor Safety During Elk and Deer Sampling for CWD

map showing sampling zone
The sampling area is a five-mile-wide corridor from five miles west of Ponca to five miles east of Pruitt.

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News Release Date: March 11, 2016

Contact: Caven Clark, 870-365-2790

Buffalo National River Urges Visitors to Use Caution When Recreating Due to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Sampling Project

As spring break gets underway, many students and families are planning their trips to enjoy the Buffalo National River.  Park managers want visitors to be aware and take additional precautions due to a sampling project that is underway in the park.
Due to the recent discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in both elk and white-tailed deer populations within Buffalo National River, the Arkansas Game &Fish Commission, with the assistance of Buffalo National River staff, will be conducting sampling operations of infected animals beginning Monday, March 14th at noon.  The schedule for sampling will be from Monday through Thursday from noon to midnight.  There will be no sampling Friday through Sunday.
The sampling area is a five-mile-wide corridor from five miles west of Ponca to five miles east of Pruitt (see attached map).
"We encourage visitors, whether on trails or on the river, to use high-visibility (e.g., hunter orange) clothing and conduct yourself as you would during a fall or winter firearms hunt," said Superintendent Kevin Cheri.  This special effort will be more intensive than the general hunting season, but restricted in area and duration.
The best source on CWD and the actions planned to address it can be found at
To report an accident, please call 911 or Buffalo National River's dispatch at 888-692-1162. All visitors should be aware of the fact that cell service is spotty to nonexistent is many parts of the park.

Last updated: March 13, 2016

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Harrison, AR 72601


(870) 439-2502

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