Bow Hunters Asked to Submit Deer and Elk Heads for CWD Testing

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The North Dakota Bowhunters Association and the State Game and Fish Department are encouraging bowhunters to submit heads of harvested deer or elk for testing of chronic wasting disease.

Samples are needed from white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk. Adult bucks, does, cows and bulls are needed, and tagged heads must be removed from the hide. Heads will be accepted from deer management units 1, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2L, 2K1, 2K2, 2J1, 2J2, 2I, 2H, 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3A4, 3B1, 3B2, 3B3, 3C, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F, and from elk units E1, E2, E3 and E4.

Archery hunters will need to fill out a tyvek tag with their name, license number, hunt unit (or legal description of kill), and species. Tyvek tags will be available at collection sites. Tagged deer and elk heads can be dropped off weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at game and fish district offices in Bismarck, Dickinson, Williston, Riverdale, Harvey (Lonetree), Devils Lake and Jamestown.

Hunters will not be sent individual test results, but a hunter will be notified immediately if a deer or elk tests positive for CWD.

There is no scientific evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans. However, the department asks that hunters take precautions to minimize risk of disease or parasite infection: avoid harvesting sick animals, wear rubber gloves when field dressing, wash hands and butchering equipment thoroughly, bone out the meat, and do not consume - and minimize handling of - brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes.

CWD is a neurological disease that affects deer and elk, and its presence has not been detected in North Dakota.