Idaho Fish & Game Needs Help From Hunters To Watch For Chronic Wasting Disease | Idaho
BOISE – Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a threat to Idaho’s big game, and the Idaho Fish and Game needs the help of hunters to keep it out of the state and keep it under surveillance in the state. CWD is a contagious and fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose in North America. There is no live test or known cure for CWD.
CWD has not been detected in Idaho to date; however, animals in Montana, Utah, and Wyoming are infected with the disease, and infected animals have been found near the Idaho border.
Idaho Fish and Game staff sampled 1,113 mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose in 2020 and early 2021 to test for chronic wasting disease, and found no positive cases. This is an ongoing effort, and the majority of animals tested were from hunters who took samples from the big game they caught. This will continue during the fall hunting seasons.
Involving hunters is key to monitoring MDC and keeping it out of Idaho, and here’s how hunters can help.
Do you hunt in Idaho for deer, elk or moose?
The Idaho Fish and Game needs help to get more of Idaho’s big game animals tested for CWD. Hunters can help increase the number of Idaho deer, elk and moose sampled for CWD by doing one of the following:
- Collect samples of harvested animals and drop them off at identified fish and game collection locations in Idaho or a regional office.
- Drop the head of the harvested animal at identified fish and game collection locations in Idaho or at a regional office.
- Stop at one of Fish and Game’s big game checkpoints during hunting season.
- All drop-off locations and monitoring station information will be available on the Idaho Fish & Game CWD page.
- MDC Sample Kits can be requested directly from Fish and Game by sending your mailing address to: [email protected]
Do you hunt outside of Idaho for deer, elk, moose or caribou?
Do not bring back whole carcasses. Idaho law does not permit hunters to bring into Idaho a whole carcass or part of a wild deer, elk, moose or caribou from a state, d ‘a Canadian province or country with a documented case of CWD.
States and provinces in orange and tan have known cases of CWD.
Don’t worry, you can still bring the meat and antlers into Idaho, ban exemptions include:
- Cut and packaged meat
- Quarters or boneless meat that does not include brain or spinal tissue
- Edible organs that do not include the brain
- Hides without a head
- Upper canines
- Ivories, bugles or whistlers
- Taxidermy completed
- Dried wood
- Cleaned and dried skulls or skullcaps
What if you see an animal that appears to have CWD?
Fish and Game welcomes reports from hunters and citizens. A person should accurately document the location of the animal (GPS coordinates if possible) and report the species and sex, if known. Take pictures, if possible, and immediately contact the nearest Fish and Game regional office.
Do not attempt to touch, disturb, kill or remove the animal. Remember that early detection in one area is key to containing the disease and preventing it from spreading to other areas of the state. You can also report online on the Fish and Game Wildlife Health webpage.