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Hunters encouraged to have deer tested for CWD

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2020 hunting season by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease from units in the western third of the state.

Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken will be tested from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3 (that portion of the unit north of U.S. Highway 2), 3B1, 3C (that portion of the unit west of the Missouri River), 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B and 4C.

Game and Fish wildlife veterinarian Dr. Charlie Bahnson said given the COVID situation, Game and Fish is focusing resources and personnel to prioritize hunter-harvested surveillance in the northwestern and southwestern parts of the state where CWD is a concern.

In units where CWD is documented, Bahnson said roughly 10% of license holders end up dropping off heads for sampling. Outside those units, in adjacent units, he said it’s more like 2-3%. That’s a number he would like to see increased quite a bit.

“In hunting units where CWD is documented, it’s important to get a good handle on where and how common it is,” Bahnson said. “But equally important, is documenting where CWD is not.”

Hunters are encouraged to drop off the head of an adult or yearling deer. Fawns and head-shot deer cannot be tested. Hunters wishing to keep the deer head can bring it to a Game and Fish district office during business hours to have it sampled.

Hunters should note a carcass or head of a deer taken from units 3A1, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C may not be transported to a collection site outside of the unit. Exception: hunters can transport the whole deer carcass between adjoining CWD carcass restricted units.

More information on CWD, including transportation restrictions and drop-off locations, is available at the Game and Fish website. Minot area drop-off locations include:

Blaisdell – BJ Taxidermy

Bottineau – Mattern Family Meats

Bowbells – The Joint

Crosby – Cenex/New Century Ag

Garrison – Myers’ Meats and Supplies

Kenmare – Jessica Ware’s Taxidermy, Farmers Union

Minot – Blom’s Locker and Processing, Frenchy’s Taxidermy, State Fairgrounds, Wallen’s Taxidermy

Mohall – Engebretson Processing, Farmer’s Union

New Town – TAT Fish and Wildlife Division Office

Parshall – Myers’ Meats and Supplies

Powers Lake – Farmers Union

Riverdale – NDGF Office

Stanley – Ace Hardware

Tioga – Recycling Center

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