A mule deer taken from unit 3F2 during opening weekend of the deer gun season has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
Dr. Dan Grove, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian, said a hunter shot a doe in western Grant County and submitted the head for testing as part of the hunter-harvested surveillance program. Testing was performed at Michigan State University. As of Tuesday, Nov. 22, Game and Fish was awaiting verification of initial tests results from a lab at Iowa State University.
“According to the hunter, the animal looked healthy,” Grove said. “It showed no visible signs of having any health issues.”
This is the third deer to test positive for CWD, and all three were from taken from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota. The first two were during the 2009 and 2010 deer gun seasons. All three were within 15 miles of each other.
“The latest positive emphasizes the importance of continued monitoring along with current and expanding CWD restrictions in and around this unit,” Grove said.
The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In addition to unit 3F2, samples during the 2011 deer gun season were collected from units in the central third of the state.
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.