BISMARCK, N.D, (KXNET) — You might want to put your plans for a wall-mounted deer head on hold this season.

Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is a slow-moving brain disease that affects deer, moose, and elk that is notable for its ability to spread and decimate populations. KX has covered the ins and outs of CWD before, but it continues to spread throughout our wildlife populations. It’s an issue that the Game and Fish Department is hugely concerned about- so much so that they’re reaching out to local hunters for help in tracking populations.

During the 2022 hunting season, hunters are encouraged to drop off the heads of adult or yearling deer at collection locations throughout North Dakota for testing and analysis (fawns and headshot deer can’t be tested) for signs of CWD. Samples will be taken from the following deer units:

  • 1
  • 2B
  • 3A1
  • 3A2
  • 3A3
  • 3A5
  • 3B1
  • 3B2
  • 3C
  • 3D1
  • 3D2
  • 3E1
  • 3E2
  • 3F1
  • 3F2
  • 4A
  • 4B
  • 4C
  • 4D
  • 4E
  • 4F

Hunters who wish to keep the heads for themselves can also bring them directly to a Game and Fish district office to have them sampled.

For hunters who wish to have their deer tested but are unavailable to get to a collection site, self-testing kits are also available which allow hunters to remove the lymph nodes in the head and ship them to the Department for testing.

Hunters seeking to have their deer heads tested should also note that whole carcasses or heads of deer taken from units 3A1, 3A2, 3B1, 3C, 3D1, 3EC, 4B, and 4C may not be transported to collection sites outside of their unit. However, lymph nodes extracted from the head for the purpose of testing contained in sealed plastic bags and transporting whole carcasses between adjacent CWD carcass-restricted units are permitted.

Testing results can be expected within four weeks, and will be sent to your Game and Fish inbox under ‘My Account’.

Further information on CWD and transportation restrictions can be found on Game and Fish’s website.