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Iowa turkey hunters encouraged to participate in disease monitoring study

Attention turkey hunters – the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for a few good turkey legs. Well, actually, any wild, lower turkey leg will do.

The Iowa DNR, in partnership with Iowa State University, is continuing a study looking for the presence of lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV) in wild turkeys. This relatively new disease, involving wild turkeys has been found in other states and may be making its way to Iowa. The study is designed to look for the presence of the disease in Iowa and, if it’s here, where is it and at what extent.

Successful hunters are asked to save one lower leg for disease testing. Simply cut the leg at the joint between the feathered portion of the leg and the scaled part of the lower leg, wrap the scaled portion in a paper towel, place it in a zip top bag and freeze it. Step 2 is to request a mailing envelope through the Iowa DNR webpage under the Hunting/Turkey section. You will receive a questionnaire along with a postage paid envelope to submit the sample.

“Hunters will need to write down their DNR Customer ID number and the tag registration number – both found on their tag – or they can simply use the leg with the transportation tag as the sample,” said Jim Coffey, forest wildlife research biologist for the Iowa DNR. “Our goal is to collect samples from across the state and we will not be able to do this without hunter participation.”

LPDV is not a human health issue.

Iowa’s fall turkey season runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 6 and Dec. 23 to Jan. 10 for archery only license hunters and Oct. 14 to Dec. 6 for gun/bow license hunters. More information about the fall season can be found in the hunting regulations booklet located online at www.iowadnr.gov.