Colorado DOW Encourages Hunters to Test for CWD
Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) offices will be open extended hours during the 2008 deer and elk rifle seasons to answer hunter's questions, sell licenses and offer testing services for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
In addition to normal weekday hours, many DOW offices will be open Columbus Day, Veterans Day and opening Saturdays during the main deer and elk rifle hunting seasons. Many high-demand locations also will be open on Sundays or offer "on-call" phone numbers for hunters who wish to drop off heads for testing on Sundays.
For a listing of office locations and hours, visit the DOW website at: wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/
Ultimately, the DOW hopes to continue to collect testing samples from deer and elk to increase knowledge about CWD infection rates and locations.
"The more samples we receive, the more information we have to examine CWD prevalence across the state," explained Brain Dreher, a senior terrestrial biologist from Colorado Springs.
CWD testing costs $15 per animal in most units across Colorado. Test fees are waived for animals harvested in units 591 and on JeffCO open space properties in Jefferson County; Heads collected at check stations in GMU 70 and GMU 60I are also exempt from the $15 fee.
Every deer and elk license includes a detachable tag labeled "CWD Head Testing Tag." The tag includes a bar code that can be scanned to speed up processing. Hunters should bring this tag in with the head and be prepared to provide detailed information about when and where the animal was harvested.
For a complete list of CWD collection locations, addresses, and hours of operation, visit the chronic wasting disease page on the DOW Web site at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/CWD/CWDSubmission.htm.
The DOW's goal is to provide test results within 10 to 14 working days during the regular rifle seasons. Hunters whose results are not available more than three weeks after submission should call the nearest DOW office for assistance.
Results are also available 24 hours a day through the CWD page on the DOW Web site by clicking on the CWD Test Results option at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/CWD/.
Test results can also be obtained by calling 1-800-434-0274. This number is available 24 hours a day and hunters can get results for up to three heads per call by keying in the head submission numbers on their CWD testing receipt.
Out-of-state hunters should check with their home state's wildlife agency to determine if there are special carcass importation restrictions in those states. Many states require hunters to bone out or process all deer and elk meat being returned to their home state from states with CWD.