NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — For this year’s deer season, hunters should be on the lookout for deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD. Also, make sure the deer you take home isn’t infected and get them tested.
According to Game and Fish, CWD is a transmissible disease most commonly found in deer, elk, and moose which damages portions of the brain and can result in death. The disease can be spread directly from animal to animal, or through contaminated environments.
Experts say Grant County (3F2) and Divide County (Gun Unit-3A1) are two hot spot areas for CWD in our state. So, if you have a tag in those areas, be on the lookout.
“Some symptoms would be just really skinny-looking deer,” explained the Wildlife Health Biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Mason Ryckman. “The deer is not aware. So, it’s easily approachable, you can walk up on the deer and it’s not getting up and running away. And the ears are kind of tucked down they are not alert.”
ND Game and Fish members are undergoing CWD surveillance in the Southeastern part of the state this year.
They are asking hunters who get a deer in that area, to bring the deer head to a collection site to get it tested, for free. Hunters can also pick up a self-sampling kit to submit through the mail.
“We’re kind of pushing surveillance in the southeastern part of the state this year,” said Ryckman. “Obviously, that’s where we are doing our surveillance and we just want to get as many samples as we can to get a good inference on the disease. So that we can get high confidence too, saying it’s not here, or if it is, at what prevalence.”
If hunters get a deer outside of the southeastern part of the state, they can still get it tested free of charge. You can contact any district office, or an office, close to your home.