Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Deer Found Near Williston Tests Positive for CWD

A white-tailed deer found dead just south of Williston in late February has been confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Charlie Bahnson, wildlife veterinarian for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

“This is unfortunate news because it means CWD is much farther south than the positive deer harvested this past fall in the northwest corner of deer unit 3A1 in Divide County,” Bahnson said.

CWD is a fatal disease of deer, moose and elk that can cause long-term population declines if left unchecked. Since 2009, 14 other deer have tested positive for CWD in North Dakota – 13 from Grant and Sioux counties in hunting unit 3F2 in the southwest, and the other taken last fall from the northwest in Divide County.

The deer found near Williston is the first documented case of a mortality due to CWD in North Dakota.

“All 14 previous detections were perfectly healthy-looking deer that were hunter-harvested before they got sick,” Bahnson said. “This deer was severely emaciated and had an empty digestive tract, which is unusual even in starvation cases that can occur in harder winters like this one. This deer stopped trying to forage some time ago.”

Bahnson said this deer was probably not the first to die of CWD in North Dakota, especially since the disease has been documented in 3F2 for a decade. “But this animal happened to die in an area where it was highly visible, and the carcass could be recovered in time for testing,” he said.

The Game and Fish Department will collect additional samples for testing through targeted removal over the next week or so. In addition to the targeted removal and testing, Game and Fish will review the need to amend the current CWD proclamation to reflect the new CWD positive.

“In other areas of the country where CWD has reached a tipping point, finding sick or dead CWD-infected deer has become common,” Bahnson said. “We need to do everything in our power to ensure that doesn’t happen in North Dakota.”

More information about CWD and regulations regarding CWD are available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in New Area of North Dakota

Three deer taken during the 2018 North Dakota deer gun season have been confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Charlie Bahnson, wildlife veterinarian for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. While two of the positive deer were taken in unit 3F2, an area of North Dakota known to have CWD, the third was taken from Divide County in deer unit 3A1, previously considered free of CWD.

“Unfortunately, the positive deer in Divide County doesn’t come as a big surprise, since CWD was found in Saskatchewan just a few miles north of Portal, N.D. last spring,” Bahnson said. “Our focus needs to now shift to taking measures to limit the spread of CWD within Divide County and to reduce the chances of it being introduced to new parts of the state.”

CWD is a fatal disease of deer, moose and elk that can cause long-term population declines if left unchecked. Since 2009, 14 CWD-positive deer have been found in North Dakota, and all previous cases were from within hunting unit 3F2, which includes parts of Sioux, Grant, Morton, Hettinger and Adams counties in southwestern North Dakota.

“Our experience with CWD in 3F2 over the past 10 years has shown that you can still have good hunting opportunities after CWD is discovered in an area, but you have to be proactive in managing it,” Bahnson said. “Over the last several years, we have found it in less than 1 percent of the deer tested from 3F2. That’s a number that we can live with, but if that number starts to climb, there will be real impacts to our deer herd.”

Special regulations previously put in place in 3F2 have included prohibiting hunting deer over bait. “There is no treatment or vaccine for CWD and once it’s in an area, it’s there indefinitely,” said Bahnson. “The very few options that we have available are aimed at reducing the number, duration, and intensity of unnatural congregations of deer – that is a major risk factor for spreading any contagious disease.”

Additional regulations in 3F2 include transportation restrictions to reduce the likelihood of infected carcass parts being moved to new areas of the state and serving as a source of CWD.

The Department will consider implementing similar regulations in response to the CWD detection in Divide County in the coming months. “CWD is the most serious disease threat to the future of big-game hunting in North Dakota,” Bahnson said. “We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to do everything we can to combat it.”

More information about CWD and regulations regarding CWD are available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

Hunters Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules

Hunters harvesting a big game animal in deer gun unit 3F2 are reminded they cannot transport the whole carcass, including the head and spinal column, outside of the unit.

In addition, hunters are prohibited from transporting into or within North Dakota the whole carcass of deer, elk, moose or other members of the cervid family from states and provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations, or in captive cervids. As a reminder, Montana is now included in the 2018-19 CWD proclamation as a state that has had free-ranging deer, moose or elk diagnosed with CWD and therefore now has big game transport restriction.

Only the following portions of the carcass can be transported:

  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.
  • Finished taxidermy heads.

Hunters should also note that hunting big game over bait, or placing bait to attract big game for the purpose of hunting, is prohibited in deer units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

CWD Surveillance Continues

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2018 hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 17 units in the western portion of the state. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.

 

Samples from hunter-harvested deer will be tested from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3B1, 3B2, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F.

 

Every head sampled must have either the deer tag attached, or a new tag can be filled out with the license number, deer hunting unit and date harvested.

 

Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:

  • Beach – Interstate Cenex
  • Belfield – Superpumper
  • Bismarck – Game and Fish Department headquarters, West Dakota Meats, 3Be Meats
  • Bowman – Frontier Travel Center
  • Carson – Hertz Hardware
  • Crosby – Crosby Water Plant, Jason’s Super Foods
  • Devils Lake – Game and Fish district office
  • Dickinson – Game and Fish district office
  • Dunn Center – Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge
  • Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy
  • Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop
  • Grenora – Farmer’s Union
  • Harvey – Lonetree Game and Fish district office
  • Hazen – Hazen Meats
  • Hettinger – Dakota Packing
  • Jamestown – Game and Fish district office
  • Kenmare – Des Lacs NWR, Lostwood NWR
  • Killdeer – Grab N Go, Hettich Salvage
  • Mandan – Butcher Block Meats
  • Minot – Johnson’s Taxidermy
  • Mohall – Engebretson Processing, Farmer’s Union
  • New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware
  • Parshall – Myers Custom Meats
  • Portal – Gastrak
  • Ray – Horizon Cenex
  • Riverdale – Game and Fish district office
  • Roseglen – Giffey Taxidermy
  • Scranton – Wolf’s Processing
  • Selfridge – Cenex
  • Stanley – Ace Hardware
  • Washburn – Enerbase
  • Williston – Williston Game and Fish district office, Mertin Kirschbaum, Scenic Sports, Bickler Taxidermy, Zerr’s Taxidermy
  • Wilton – Cenex.

Moose and elk heads should be taken to a Game and Fish office.

 

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal.

 

Hunters Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules

Big game hunters are reminded of requirements for transporting deer, elk and moose carcasses and carcass parts into and within North Dakota as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease.

 

Hunters are prohibited from transporting into or within North Dakota the whole carcass of deer, elk, moose or other members of the cervid family from areas within states and provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations, or in captive cervids. Hunters should note that Montana is now included in the 2018-19 CWD proclamation as a state that has had free-ranging deer, moose or elk diagnosed with CWD and therefore now has big game transport requirements.

 

In addition, hunters harvesting a big game animal in unit 3F2 in North Dakota cannot transport the whole carcass, including the head and spinal column, outside of the unit. This is a new rule from last year, when hunters could take the carcass  outside of the unit if it was taken directly to a meat processor within five days of the harvest date.

 

Only the following portions of the carcass can be transported:

  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.
  • Finished taxidermy heads.

 

Hunters should also note that hunting big game over bait, or placing bait to attract big game for the purpose of hunting, is prohibited in deer units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

 

Two Deer Test Positive for CWD

A whitetail buck and a mule deer doe, taken during the 2017 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 11 deer to test positive for CWD in North Dakota, and all were from within unit 3F2.

 

In 2010, the Game and Fish Department implemented special regulations in 3F2 and surrounding units to limit the natural spread of the disease, and to protect the rest of the deer, elk and moose herds in North Dakota.

 

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 central 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 31,000 deer, elk and moose have tested negative for CWD.

 

“The Department takes the risk of CWD to the state’s deer, elk and moose herds seriously,” Grove said. “CWD is considered a permanent disease on the landscape once an area becomes endemic.”

 

The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In 2018, deer will be tested from the western 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. For more information on CWD, refer to the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.

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CWD Surveillance Continues

The state Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2017 deer hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 10 units in North Dakota. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.

CWD testing

Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the central portion of the state will be tested from units 2H, 2I, 2J1, 2J2, 2K1, 2K2, 3A4, 3B3 and 3C. In addition, deer will be tested from unit 3F2 in the southwest.

Every head sampled must have either the deer tag attached, or a new tag can be filled out with the license number, deer hunting unit and date harvested.

Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:

  • Ashley – Ashley Super Valu Store
  • Bismarck – Game and Fish Department headquarters, Call of the Wild Taxidermy, 3Be Meats, West Dakota Meats
  • Bottineau – Mattern Family Meats
  • Carrington – Barton Meats
  • Devils Lake – Devils Lake Game and Fish district office
  • Dickinson – Dickinson Game and Fish district office
  • Ellendale – Oxenrider Motel
  • Granville – S&E Meats
  • Harvey – Lonetree Game and Fish district office
  • Heaton – Miller Game Processing
  • Jamestown – Jamestown Game and Fish district office
  • LaMoure – LaMoure Lockers
  • Linton – Bosch’s Meat Market, Scherr’s Meats
  • Mandan – Butcher Block Meats, Nevada’s Wildlife Designs
  • McClusky – Bentz Supply Store
  • Minot – Johnson Taxidermy
  • Moffit – Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge office
  • Parshall – Myers Meats and Specialties
  • Riverdale – Riverdale Game and Fish district office
  • Rolette – Meat Shack
  • Rugby – Cenex C Store
  • Sheyenne – Brenno Meats, Wild Things Taxidermy
  • Streeter – Reister Meats and Catering
  • Turtle Lake – Main Street Market
  • Upham – J. Clark Salyer NWR office
  • Washburn – Enerbase
  • Wilton – Cenex
  • Wing – Terry’s Sales and Service
  • Woodworth – Chase Lake NWR office.

Drop off locations for deer taken from unit 3F2:

  • Carson – Hertz Hardware
  • Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy
  • Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop
  • Hettinger – Dakota Packing
  • New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware

 

Moose and elk heads should be taken to a Game and Fish office.

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.

Hunters Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules

Big game hunters are reminded of requirements for transporting deer, elk and moose carcasses and carcass parts into and within North Dakota as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease.

DSCN0963

Hunters harvesting a big game animal this fall in North Dakota deer unit 3F2 cannot transport a carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit unless it’s taken to a meat processor within five days of the harvest date. The head can be removed from the carcass and transported outside of the unit if it is to be submitted to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for CWD surveillance purposes, or to a licensed taxidermist.

If the deer is processed in the field to boned meat, and the hunter wants to leave the head in the field, the head must be legally tagged and the hunter must be able to return to or give the exact location of the head if requested for verification.

In addition, hunting big game over bait is prohibited in deer units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

Hunters are prohibited from transporting into or within North Dakota the whole carcass, or certain carcass parts, of deer, elk, moose or other members of the cervid family from areas within states and provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations, or in captive cervids. Only the following portions of the carcass can be transported:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.
  • Finished taxidermy heads.

Hunters should refer to the 2017-18 CWD proclamation on the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, for other states that have had free-ranging deer, moose or elk diagnosed with CWD. Importation of harvested elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose or other cervids from listed areas is restricted.

Two Deer Test Positive for CWD

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.

CWD testing

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.