A mule deer doe and a mule deer buck taken during the 2016 deer gun season from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the State Game and Fish Department.
Since 2009, the total now stands at nine deer to test positive for CWD and all were from within unit 3F2.
In addition to the 350 samples tested for CWD from unit 3F2, another 1,050 were tested from deer harvested last fall by hunters in the eastern third of the state, and from any moose or elk taken during the hunting season. In all, more than 1,400 samples were tested.
Since the Game and Fish Department’s sampling efforts began in 2002, more than 30,000 deer, elk and moose have tested negative for CWD.
The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In 2017, deer will be tested from the central portion of the state.
The Game and Fish Department also has a targeted surveillance program that is an ongoing, year-round effort to test animals found dead or sick.
CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.