During the height of the pandemic, many Louisiana residents found comfort and sanity by escaping into their natural surroundings. Whether we spent a little more time on the lake with a fishing pole or spent a little more time in the woods in search of that elusive trophy buck, it was how a lot of us "got away" during those troubling days.

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While pandemic conditions across the nation and especially across Louisiana seem to have levelled off there are still certain precautions we all should be taken against the spread of COVID and any other disease. As far as I am concerned, if you're healthy and those around you are healthy, then keep doing whatever it is you're doing or not doing.

But do keep in mind that COVID can pop up just about anywhere at any time in some of the most unexpected places. For example, how many of you actually anticipated there would be a COVID outbreak among whitetail deer? Nah, I didn't see that coming either.

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However, wildlife officials in the state of Iowa, not the charming city in Calcasieu Parish, have noticed that some whitetail deer harvested in that state have tested positive for the virus. Now, just to be clear, they weren't testing for COVID on a whim, the COVID test was part of a battery of tests the Iowa Department of Wildlife does on harvest game animals.

That has prompted Louisiana Department and Wildlife Officials to join with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to begin the collection of blood samples from the whitetail harvest in Louisiana.

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While scientists do know that whitetail deer can carry COVID, they don't know if the virus can be transmitted from that species to humans. And no, there have been no deer, even the ones who tested positive, that showed any outward symptoms or signs of the disease.

So, basically what we are hoping to learn from this testing is not that whitetail deer can carry COVID but how the virus acts between that species and other species including humans. Just remember to spray a little hand sanitizer on your bullets. Better safe than sorry, you wouldn't want some innocent animal being hurt or injured by that..Nah, wait, that's the point of hunting, never mind.

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