ND Game and Fish encourages hunters to submit deer heads to test for Chronic Wasting Disease

Courtesy: North Dakota Game and Fish Department
Courtesy: North Dakota Game and Fish Department

(Bismarck, ND) -- North Dakota wildlife officials are encouraging hunters to bring deer heads in for testing of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is currently taking samples from the Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program in several units across the state (2A, 2B, 2F2, 2G1, 2G2, 2H, 2I, and 2J2). These samples are collected by wildlife biologists like Mason Ryckman, who then let hunters know if their deer is infected with CWD.

"By submitting your heads it gives us an opportunity to boost our sample size. Once we get a larger sample size, it helps us get a better inference on the disease in that area," said Ryckman.

Ryckman says the Game and Fish Department is slightly changing how they collect data on CWD this year. Instead of dividing the state into three pieces and conducting investigations in one of those pieces and in known positive units, staff are now breaking the state into four observation areas and investigating one area per year. Ryckman says the department is starting in the South Eastern portion, and going counter clockwise around the state. 

A full list of collection sites, how to safely place the heads at those locations, and self sampling kits can be found by clicking here

Original Air Date: 
Friday, November 3, 2023