Idaho Fish and Game was notified Oct. 20 that a white-tailed deer had tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The young doe was found dead along Slate Creek Road in Idaho County’s Hunting Unit 14, the same general area where the chronic wasting disease was first detected in November 2021.
A Fish and Game employee found the deer dead on the side of the road. The cause of his death is unknown. The deer’s head was removed and its lymph nodes were sent to a lab for testing.
“We expected to see more positive animals from Unit 14 this year, so unsurprisingly, this is an important reminder that chronic wasting disease is present here in Idaho,” the wildlife director said. of the state, Rick Ward. “We want to remind hunters that they should not remove whole deer, elk or moose carcasses from Hunting Units 14 and 15.”
This latest detection is the first for the 2022 hunting season, but marks the seventh animal to test positive for CWD in Unit 14. All seven were between Riggins and Grangeville.
Fish and Game staff have collected samples from 1,017 deer and elk across the state so far this year, and testing on most of those animals is pending.
The Fish and Game Commission has established Units 14 and 15 as a “chestnut wasting management area,” which means hunters hunting deer, elk, or moose must follow new rules:
Restrictions of 14-15 CWD units:
- It is illegal to possess or transport a complete carcass or any part of a deer, elk, or moose taken from Units 14 or 15 in any part of the state outside of those Units , excluding quarters, boneless meat, dried antlers or cleaned and dried skulls or caps (see full list of exceptions).
Units 14-15, other CWD requirements:
- All deer, elk and moose must be tested for CWD.
- Hunters can take a CWD sample (lymph nodes taken from the head) in the field or bring the animal’s head to a checkpoint, drop off location or designated regional office.
- Cut or debone the animal at the slaughter site and leave the casings and backbone if traveling outside of Units 14 or 15.
- If staying in Units 14 or 15, spinal cords and heads must be disposed of in an approved solid waste landfill, dumpster or trash can that will be taken to an approved landfill.
- Antlers must be removed in the field if the hunter also takes an MDC sample from the field.
- If heads are taken to a checkpoint or to the Fish and Game office for CWD sampling, the antlers will be removed by Fish and Game staff, cleaned and returned to the hunters.
- Animal heads will remain with Fish and Game and will be properly disposed of at an approved facility.
For more information, visit the Idaho Fish and Game CWD webpage and learn more about hunting rules in the chronic wasting disease management area or watch the video below.
Violation of CWD rules may result in citation
Fish and Game officials remind hunters that transporting a deer, elk or moose carcass out of the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Area (Units 14 & 15) is a misdemeanor and may be punishable a fine of up to $1,000, 6 months in prison and up to three years of hunting license revocation.
“We’re seeing more hunters at checkpoints than we’d like to see whole carcasses out of Units 14 and 15,” said Brian Jack, deputy chief of law enforcement. “This resulted in several citations. The potential spread of chronic wasting disease is a serious threat, and we want hunters to be aware that there are consequences if they do not follow the hunting rules in a chronic wasting disease management area. .
CWD has not been found outside of Unit 14, and to protect Idaho’s deer and elk populations, Fish and Game officials want to prevent its spread, which is why it’s important that hunters understand and adhere to the requirements of the CWD management area.
There is no cure for chronic wasting disease, and the possible impacts on the population of Idaho’s elk, deer, and moose herds are a major concern.
The lack of treatment options, vaccinations, reliable diagnostic tests for live animals, and the persistence of the disease in the environment are all of concern, because ultimately CWD poses a risk to hunting opportunities. future.