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F&G asks deer hunters to provide harvested animals for chronic wasting disease testing

Idaho Fish and Game is asking hunters to help provide samples from deer so they can be tested for chronic wasting disease, particularly deer taken in hunting units bordering, or near, the states of Montana, Utah and Wyoming, all of which have CWD in their big game herds. 

The disease has never been detected in Idaho, but animals with CWD have been found within miles of Idaho’s border. CWD is a contagious and fatal disease that affects mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, caribou and moose. 

Hunters are being asked to provide deer heads or lymph nodes from harvested animals to help Fish and Game biologists increase the number of animals tested this year. 

Hunters can assist by making harvested animals available at check stations, or providing heads or lymph nodes from harvested animals and mailing them (lymph nodes only), or dropping them off, at various locations. 

Hunters can get detailed information about CWD, including how to provide a sample, at idfg.idaho.gov/cwd, and a list of statewide locations to drop off samples. 

Fish and Game regional offices will also provide detailed information about where and when check stations will be located during hunting season, and other ways to provide samples. Hunters outside the CWD sampling areas can also have their animals tested by requesting a CWD sample kit, or by contacting their regional Fish and Game office for information. 

There is no known cure for CWD, nor any way of testing live animals, so hunter-harvested animals are the primary way of testing for it in Idaho. CWD poses a serious risk to Idaho’s deer, elk, and moose populations, and ultimately, to hunting opportunities.