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Hunters Encouraged to Have Deer Tested for CWD, Reminded of Disposal Requirements

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2023 hunting season by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease from select units in the southeastern portion of the state. 

Samples will be tested from deer taken from units 2A, 2B, 2F2, 2G, 2G1, 2G2, 2H, 2I and 2J2. Outside of this area, hunters can still have their animal tested by taking it to a Game and Fish district office, deer head collection site or by using a self-sampling kit.

CWD is a slow-moving brain disease of deer, moose and elk that can cause population-level impacts under high infection rates.

Hunters are encouraged to drop off heads of adult or yearling deer at collection locations listed on the department’s website at Fawns and head-shot deer cannot be tested. Hunters wishing to keep the heads can bring them to a Game and Fish district office during business hours to have them sampled.

Self-sampling kits are available for hunters who wish to have their deer tested but are unable to drop the head at a collection site. The do-it-yourself kit allows hunters to remove the lymph nodes and ship them to the department’s wildlife health lab for testing.

Results can be expected within four weeks and will be sent to your Game and Fish My Account inbox.

Hunters are also reminded that carcass disposal requirements now apply statewide. The entire carcass can be transported outside of the gun unit where it was harvested. If transported out of the gun unit, the carcass waste (material left after processing) must be disposed of via landfill or waste management provider. This requirement does not apply to heads dropped at CWD collection sites, or lymph nodes submitted for CWD surveillance.

More information on CWD is available at the Game and Fish website.